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Forest Brother

Jānis Balodis

2nd October 6:30 pm
Lithuanian National Drama Theatre, Main Stage

Director: Valters Sīlis
Cast: Vainius Sodeika, Saulius Čiučelis, Liubomiras Laucevičius, Vilija Grigaitytė, Martyna Gedvilaitė, Eglė Grigaliūnaitė, Vaidas Maršalka, Edgaras Žemaitis.

Duration: 3 hrs 30 mins (with intermission)
Premiere: 18th September, 2015

This is an unbelievable story of hiding for 50 years revealed by means of a share amount of Lithuanian and Latvian humour. The main character Jonas Petrutis has been in a town twice, he had no wife or children, had no job and generally was benign as to not having hurt a fly in his life. He then escaped the army, lived hiding in his sister’s shadow and firmly believed that it was God who saved him from the wolf… He definitely was not one of those forest brothers who spent days and nights in partisan dugouts with a gun with the last bullet in it… Jonas had no intention to fight or resist. He simply decided to hide and to retreat from the battlefield of World War II.
The creative group was inspired by a true story of Latvian Jānis Pīnups (1925-2007). He became a sensation in 1995 when after 50 years of hiding from the Soviets in the woods he decided to go back to a normal life. This is not a documentary but rather a synthesis of humour and tragedy depicting the most painful and unavoidable historical moments. Does being a “forest brother” mean freedom from the clutches of the system or the longest avoidance of responsibility in the human history?
Liubomiras Laucevičius and Vilija Grigaitytė were awarded with the highest Lithuanian theatre award, the Golden Stage Cross as best supporting actors. The performance was also nominated for the best collaborative direction (Valters Sīlis and Jānis Balodis).