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Release: June 11, 2001

UI hosts Baltic film series as part of summer studies institute

A Baltic film series is one of the highlights of the 8th annual Baltic Studies Summer Institute hosted this year by the University of Iowa Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES). The Institute offers intensive first-year Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian language courses, as well as a course on Baltic history and culture.

The film series is free and open to the public, and it includes films in English, films with English subtitles, and films in Latvian with minimal dialogue. The films will be shown in Room 61, Schaeffer Hall at 3:30 p.m. every Thursday during the months of June and July.

The following are dates and titles of this year’s films:

-- June 14: "One World: The Baltic States," a 60-minute report in which the One World camera crew documented two years of struggle after the Baltic people declared their freedom in a "singing revolution" that was largely a peaceful success. The film shows the dark era that lingered in the fall of 1994 after the Russian troop withdrawal ended a half-century of occupation.

-- June 21: "Naves Ena" (In the Shadow of Death,) a film based on a classic of Latvian literature. It follows a group of ice fishermen who have drifted out to sea and must come to grips with their impending deaths while struggling to hold on to hope for rescue.

-- June 28: "Limuzins Janu Nakts Krasa" (Limousine in the Colour of St. John’s Night,) about an old woman who wins an automobile in a lottery, and suddenly her relatives come calling in the hopes that they will inherit the car.

-- July 5: "God’s Mother is the Morning Star: The Life and Art of Joseph Mender," a documentary about 92-year-old Joseph Mender, a Lithuanian immigrant living in upstate New York. The film documents Mender’s life, including his activism in the American labor movement, his traditional art, and his mythological worldview that stems from his upbringing in Lithuania.

-- July 12-13: "Baltic Tragedy" graphically portrays Hitler’s war on Russia in 11 original German wartime newsreels. Four additional international documentaries present a well-rounded picture of the tragic plight of the Baltic peoples during World War II. The film consists of two parts with part one Thursday, July 12, and part two Friday, July 13.

-- July 19: "Estonia: A Tale of Two Nations," an informative profile of the continual struggle for freedom in Estonia, the smallest republic in the USSR. The film includes interviews with the Estonian prime minister, politicians, economists, journalists, and veterans.

For more information about the summer institute or the film series, contact Blythe Burkhardt at 335-1436.