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Thursday, July 6, 2017

'You Can't Escape Lithuania' DVD: Two Gay Guys, A Girl, and A Flight From Justice


Foreign gay-themed art-house film division of tla video tla releasing making the 2016 Lithuanian drama "You Can't Escape Lithuania" available on DVD on July 11, 2017 provides North American audiences a chance to see a potential Millennials cult classic. The most meta aspect of this film is that writer/director Romas Zabarauskas has an actor play writer/director Romas Zabaraukas. Additionally, early scenes refer to the fictional Zabarauskas making the real-life film "We Will Riot" by the real Zabarauskas.

The real Zabarauskas goes full-on 21st century in revealing early on that his fictional counterpart bares far more than his soul in a crowdfunding promotion to obtain the money for his latest film; the real Zabarauskas shares that this is a "ripped from the headlines" aspect of the film but does not provide the photos.

The following YouTube clip of the theatrical trailer for "Lithuania" fully conveys the modern sense and sensibility of the film.


Please note that all future references to Zabarauskas are to the reel one.

Zabarauskas and his visiting Mexican boyfriend Carlos are lounging around the apartment of the former in the titular nation when movie star/friend Indre shows up with literal blood on her hands. The gist of her story is that roughly 10 years of frustration with her mother leads to to Indre accidentally killing her and then fleeing the scene.

The literal exit strategy that Zabarauskas develops is to have him and Carlos assist Indre with an equally literal run for the border so that she can hide out until the heat cools down. Much of the drama regarding this is Carlos objecting to being caught up in the drama.

The filmmaker in Zabarauskas soon comes out in the form of deciding to use the video camera on his smart phone to make an avant-garde movie about their adventure. This does not sit well with Indre, who ultimately gets Zabarauskas to see her side of things.

The manner in which Zabarauskas pursues a fleeing Carlos and persuades him to stay with the group at this early stage is one of the best scenes in "Lithuania."

Insight that is very awesome from the perspective of someone from the era in which the score is kept at sporting events and not everyone goes home with a trophy is the realization of Zabarauskas that his mother has been protecting him from the harsh realities of life at least since high school.

It is less awesome to learn that the father of Zabarauskas shows far more hatred than can be understood on learning that his son likes other boys. This proves that all of us need a loving parent in our life.

A fun scene with gay-porn potential involves Carlos going off to prove that bears are not the only ones who perform a certain bodily function in the woods and Indre temporarily fleeing as a traffic cop approaches to help Zabarauskas change a flat tire. The cop expressing great interest in Zabarauskas and commenting that he knows that this stranded motorist is a gay filmmaker evokes thoughts that one or the other is going to end up bent over the hood of the car with with his hands cuffed behind his back and his pants around his ankles. Learning the extent to which that happens requires watching the film.

At least one encounter during the involvement with the officer has great significance for our trio of outlaws. It further prompts the soul-searching that begins with the symbolism related to Indre killing her mother and Zabarauskas both deciding to actively help her escape and to bring Carlos along for that ride and another.

The drama further heats up when the group stops for the night. Both Zabarauskas and Indre further bare their souls and effectively run off into the sunset in a scene that is far from a Hollywood ending. The scenes after that remove most of the ambiguity regarding that walk into the woods.

Although very few Millennials even accidentally commit matricide (or patricide), they (and many Gen Xers) can see themselves in the folks whose family drama continues haunting them and who discover that they are not as special as believed. The overlying cynical aspect of this is that we end up paying for "it" in one form or another.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Lithuania" is encouraged to email me; you alternatively can connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.