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Jonas Mekas’ Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania is an elegiac diary film of a trip that he took back to his birthplace of Semeniškiai, Lithuania. The film is divided into three episodes. The first part reflects Jonas Mekas of his time as emigrant in New York, after leaving the home country of Lithuania. The second part depicts his first trip back, while the last is filmed during a stay in Vienna shortly afterwards. Together, it becomes a lyrical odyssey on love, loss, and memory.
Jonas Mekas (1922–2019) was a Lithuanian-American filmmaker, writer, actor, poet and artist. In 1944, he left Lithuania with his brother Adolfas because of the war. Both of them were imprisoned in a labour camp in Elmshorn, Germany. After eight months they escaped, and by the end of 1949 emigrated to the U.S., settling in New York. There, Jonas Mekas got deeply involved in the American Avant-Garde film movement.
In 1954 he started Film Culture magazine, which soon became the most important film publication in the US. In 1962 he founded the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, and in 1964 the Film-Makers’ Cinematheque, which eventually grew into Anthology Film Archives, one of the world's largest and most important repositories of avant-garde cinema, and a screening venue. Jonas Mekas’s film The Brig was awarded the Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1963.
More than 60 years of tireless work in film, arts and media has earned him the epithet ‘The Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema’.
The Brig (1963), Walden (1969), Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1972), Lost Lost Lost (1975), Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol (1990), Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas (1992), As I was Moving Ahead I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000), Letter from Greenpoint (2005), Sleepless Nights Stories (2011), Out-takes from the Life of a Happy Man (2012)