Our video production partners Unicorn Video have responded to continued talk of war by creating a short film from recycled Lithuanian national archive footage, specially rescanned and presented in HD quality. Lithuanian electronic musician Mantask provides the soundtrack, “Tripping”, which is released on Spotify and all digital shops by our distribution partners Dubplater.
Taking a trip back in time with Lithuanian music
The spacey sci-fi deep house vibes of the music inspired the idea of taking a trip back in time, to the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. The state archive contains miles and miles of beautifully shot black and white propaganda films depicting daily life, history and news events, and the Unicorn team spent hours before finally selecting scenes from several different reels, to fit the atmosphere of the soundtrack. Lithuanian music is often thoughtful and subtle, flying below the radar in a surprise attack on your emotions, and “Tripping” by Mantask is no exception.
Marching off to war
Due to the recent announcements of militarisation and conscription in the region, the most resonant footage depicts the training of children to become obedient adults and Red Army soldiers. Clips from maternity hospitals, kindergartens and pioneer camps show synchronised happy children exercising, dancing and cleaning floors. Clips from war documentaries show formations of aeroplanes bombing villages. Parallel lines of rockets stream into the night sky with horrific beauty. Conscripted soldiers hide in trenches overrun by heavy tanks.
Raiding the archives
After several emails and phonecalls, the archivists finally scanned the films in high resolution and delivered the digitised files to Unicorn. The state archive exists so that people never forget history, enabling future generations to continue discussing what happened in the past, so Unicorn are proud to bring this valuable material to a young audience. The specially re-scanned clips were chopped up and re-constructed by the editor Darius Šilėnas, telling the story of Soviet life from cradle to military graveyard. The result is a powerful work of art that will will be exhibited around the world, showcasing Lithuanian music and storytelling.
What do you think?
It’s up to you to decide if this short film is pacifist activism, communist nostalgia, nationalist propaganda or artistic entertainment. It’s a mashup of all those things and it will certainly make you think about how history repeats itself, and how people can be led into wars they don’t want. Most of all, it’s a great tune, showing that the new generation of Lithuanians want to create, not destroy. Leave a comment on YouTube and keep the debate going.
“Tripping” by Mantask
Released 10th July 2015 on Dubplater
Google Play: https://goo.gl/HNZvBL
Video produced by Unicorn Video
Edited by Darius Šilėnas
Thanks to the State Archive of Lithuania