baltic FREEDOM way

The most prominent example of Baltic solidarity and cooperation in the history of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, The Baltic Way was an event in which almost 2 million people joined hands to form a live chain from Tallinn through Riga to Vilnius. Taking place on the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on August 23, 1989, the event also marked a step closer to the restoration of independence for all three countries, as the Soviet Union neared the brink of collapse.

The Baltic Freedom Way chronicles the history of Baltic cooperation, which dates back to the proclamations of independence from each of the three states in 1918, up to the chain of events behind the peaceful protest 30 years ago. It also explores the history of that cooperation up to contemporary times — the great social, economic, and political changes of the 1990s, and the re-integration into European political, social, and cultural spaces. Weaving in memories of the past as well as contemporary victories, The Baltic Freedom Way shows both the cooperation and the competition between these three countries. It is a portrait of three sisters, in the free world and on the free market, who have remained side-by-side in both good times and in hardships.

NYC Premiere Screening

Screening date & time: Friday, November 8, 5:00 pm

Original title: Baltijas brivības ceļš

Director: Askolds Saulītis

Runtime: 52 min

Language: Latvia, Estonian, Lithuanian with English subtitles

2014 - Latvia

Preceded by “Baltic Way” (Baltijos kelias), a short documentary cooperation between two important Lithuanian filmmakers, Arūnas Matelis and Audrius Stonys, the combination of Matelis’ observations and Stonys’ meditative rhythm stresses the social significance of the event. Lithuania, 1989, 10 min

Q & A panel discussion with participants in the 1989 event following the screening.

Askolds Saulītis.jpg

About The Director:

Askolds Saulītis - (b. 1966) is a prolific Latvian filmmaker. His filmography includes several documentary mini-series, such as History Cracks (2019), and Latvian State History (2018); as well as many documentary features including The Song Power (2018), Eight Stars (2017), The Baltic Freedom Way (2014), The Path to Freedom (2013), Carnikava Stories (2012), For Liberty and Fatherland. Bermontiad 1919 (2009), Nazis and Blondes (2009), Debt to Afghanistan (2008), The Anatomy of National Holiday (Winner: Best Editing at Lielais Kristaps - 2005), Keep Smiling! (Winner: Best Script, Best Music, Audience Award at Lielais Kristaps, Interfilm Prize at Arsenāls festival - 2004), The Spring of Youth (Winner: Best Documentary Director at Lielais Kristaps - 2001), The Red and the Brown (Winner: Best Documentary Director at Lielais Kristaps - 1999). He is also the maker of short films including The Training (2012), Tristan and Isolde (1999), Clara & Rubinstein (1999), The Rape of Europe (Winner: Audience Award at Lielais Kristaps - 1999) and Who Lives in Komunalka (Winner: Audience Award at Lielais Kristaps - 1993). Saulītis is currently working on the feature documentary Under One Flag.