(orig. Rūgštus miškas)
by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė
realization in collaboration with Dovydas Korba
2018 / Lithuania / 63 min
Can you imagine a tourist attraction where people come to see a dead forest? Where they are not only observers, but also the ones being observed and heard by the black birds?
There used to be an ancient pine forest, but then several cormorants landed there. Now there are thousands of the birds and they kill the pine trees by…shitting. The human observations and responses to this environment are as multi-layered and bizarre as the history of the forest itself.
The film is set in the Curonian Spit, which is a very scenic peninsula in Lithuania, edged by the Baltic sea from one side, and the lagoon from the other. It is a UNESCO heritage site, rich in natural resources and high-end beach resorts. For many people, the cormorant colony is a black spot in a heavenly setting.
“Apart from the main storyline, I kept my focus on playful dialogues, illustrating how a range of political questions, historical narratives, migration vectors and cinematic experiences intervene into the human projections of nature. I hope it helped an environmental paradox of Acid Forest to become a metaphor for a surreal world that we are living in.” – says the director of the film.
Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė (b. 1983) works as filmmaker and theatre director, based in Lithuania. She completed her MA in Screen Documentary at Goldsmiths, London (2013), BA in Cinematography (2006) and Theatre directing (2008) in Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. In her creative works, Rugile explores the gap between objective and imagined realities, while challenging an anthropocentric way of thinking in a playful way. Prior to Acid Forest, Rugile has directed four short films and two contemporary operas (Have a Good Day! and Sun and Sea), which brought 6 prestigious awards for the creative team and are still touring around the world. Rugile is one of the three artists who will represent Lithuania for the Venice Biennale of Art in 2019.
Dovydas Korba (b. 1984) completed a BA programme in film production at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre in 2007 and continued his MA studies of Photography and Media Art at Vilnius Academy of Arts and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Dovydas combines producing with his other practice in contemporary art field. Dovydas is co-founder and producer of film production company NEON REALISM (formerly, A LAUKAS).
Director, cinematographer, editor
Producer, assistant director, sound
Image postproduction services
NEON REALISM / A LAUKAS
Film financed by
LITHUANIAN FILM CENTER
With additional support of
LITHUANIAN COUNCIL FOR CULTURE