Gena is under no illusions about his situation. In the prologue of the film, he briefly sketches out his life in a monotone voiceover: growing up without parents, receiving an “education” from his criminal uncle, initial protection money rackets in the wake of privatizations in the crumbling Soviet Union, later international drug dealing. His enemies are numerous but not easy to recognize; “life is short, the greater part of it already over”. Although there is only a small chance that Gena will be able to trade in his nomadic existence between Asia and Europe for a “normal life”, he takes the plunge anyway. A frantic chase across Europe thus ensues. Heading west, presumably towards the sun.
Sharunas Bartas paints a dark picture of a globalized world where values seem to have disappeared along with the sunlight. A wintry Europe, where each place is as inhospitable as the next. A gangster wanting to leave the business, joining his famous spiritual brothers Jeff Bailey, Frankie Bono and Jegor Prokudin in most memorable fashion. A 21st century film noir, in which the underworld knows no code of honor and compassion will be avenged. Fatally. —Berlinale
Šarūnas BARTAS (1964-) – Lithuanian film director, one of the most outstanding representatives of cinematographers. His contacts with cinema began in 1985 with the TV serial “Sixteen-years-olds” (dir. Raimondas Banionis), where Bartas played one of the main roles. He is a graduate of the Moscow Film School (VGIK). He made his directorial debut with his diploma film, the short documentary “Tofolaria” and mediocre-length film (which called spectators’ attention) “For the Remembrance of Last Day” (1989), where the real personages are “acting themselves” according to the principles of feature film. The author further “purified” the specific cinema language in the full-length film “Three Days” (1991), which was awarded the prize of oicumene committee at Berlin Film Festival (for the problems, the importance of the theme, the profundity) in 1992, and FIPRESCI Prize for the originality of the style, the significance of the theme, the beauty of pictures. This is a story (almost without plot… read more
A disappointingly mediocre and conventional film from a giant of Lithuanian cinema. While there is nothing poor about this film, it is worrisome to see Bartas move into more mainstream thriller-type territory. His work belongs in bringing a purity, an honesty and ethereal beauty to cinema, and if that does not continue, he will be surely missed.
Nice to see Sharunas Bartas take home the "Gerve" (the Lithuanian equivalent of an Oscar) for "Eastern Drift." He seemed rather non-plussed by the two silver Cranes (best director and best film), but then Bartas has always been a man of few words. Korshunova won a Gerve for best actress.