Review: ‘And He Bid You Farewell’

Running time: 98 MIN.

Running time: 98 MIN.

Marius …Arunas Sakalavskas

Maria … Almira Grybavskaite

Using a format similar to Lodge Kerrigan’s fest hit “Clean, Shaven,” Lithuanian indie “And He Bid You Farewell” examines mental illness from both interior and exterior perspectives, blurring the lines between reality and pretense, dream and memory. Despite strong imagery and thought-provoking subject matter, most of the time auds are likely to be as confused as the patient, but entering this nightmarish maze does lead to a satisfying payoff of sorts. Memorable first feature by Anatolijus Siusa could find specialized slots internationally.

Marius at first seems to be a confused, amnesiac shoemaker who denies even knowing his sensitive, pregnant, suffering wife, Maria. As “proof” of his identity, there’s a wedding photo of the couple and their neighbors, whom he meets on his wanderings around the island community.

Turns out Marius is indeed an amnesiac but actually lives in a sanatorium, where Maria, another patient, is a sterilized neurotic. Their wedding was fake, and their neighbors other loonies. After four years, however, Marius starts to remember his real past and forget his life in the sanatorium.

Pic, which begins and ends with Marius alone on the sand, sports a texture dominated by images of solitude and emptiness. The sanatorium has a highly decorated exterior, but rooms are bereft of normal decor.

Film also works as a metaphor for Lithuania (and Central Europe) over the past half-decade. “Is this a sanatorium of madmen?” asks Marius. “It’s a country of madmen,” replies his doctor.

And He Bid You Farewell

(LITHUANIAN -- B&W)

Production

A Sansara Film Production. Directed, written by Anatolijus Siusa.

Crew

Camera (B&W), A. Mikutenas; editor, N. Karvelis; music, F. Latenas. Reviewed at Bratislava Film Festival, Slovakia, Nov. 29, 1994.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading