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Date Location Tickets

Southeast US Premiere


Directed by Jurgis Matulevicius

Lithuania | 104 minutes | 2020

Lithuanian, German, Russian with English subtitles

A visually dazzling, Kafkaesque murder mystery, Isaac draws on Cold War thriller and film noir tropes to create an ambitiously novelistic Euro-drama in which personal treachery resonates across a broader historical canvas, one haunted by a grisly real-life massacre. In 1941, a Lithuanian man kills his Jewish neighbor, Isaac, at the Lietukis garage massacre during which an armed mob tortured and murdered between 40 and 60 Jews in front of a baying crowd, a savage preview of the incoming Nazi occupation of the Baltic states. Twenty-five years later in Soviet Lithuania, a feted writer and film director returns from the USA with a screenplay of a film that portrays, in detail, the Lietukis garage massacre and describes a particular situation where Isaac, the Jewish neighbor, is killed. The screenplay is brought to the attention of and investigated by the KGB, who question why his screenplay is so unusually historically accurate, as though he might have witnessed it himself. Perhaps he knows someone who attended the massacre themselves? The aftermath of this vicious murder comes to suggest that Europe's brutal totalitarian past is not safely dead and buried. Like Pawel Pawlikowski's Cold War, Vaclav Marhoul's The Painted Bird (MJFF 2020 Critics Prize Winner), and other recent ruminations on Eastern Europe's enduring post-war wounds, Isaac is a trip into the past as it confronts themes of guilt, friendship, love, regret, and self-liberation in the difficult historical context of Lithuania during the Holocaust and postwar Soviet.

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Jurgis Matulevicius is a director, screenwriter, and editor form Vilnius, Lithuania. He graduated from the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy with a degree in Film Directing. Jurgis has worked with well-known Lithuanian film directors Šarūnas Bartas, Algimantas Puipa, and others. Isaac is Jurgis’ feature film debut.
Foreign Title Izaokas
Director Jurgis Matulevicius
Countries of Production Lithuania
Year of Presentation 2020
Language(s) Lithuanian, German, Russian with English subtitles
Premiere Status Southeast US Premiere
Runtime 104 minutes
Principal Cast Aleksas Kazanavicius, Severija Janusauskaite, Dainius Gavenonis

Silver Crane Winner at the Lithuania Film Awards

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