Displaced


TYPE
: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Completed

LOGLINE

DISPLACED is a neglected history of Lithuanian emigration and Russian oppression.  After WWII, many Eastern Europeans prepared to flee the Soviet Union with its expanding web of death and deportations to Siberia.  Through DISPLACED, you will be able to relive this fateful and historic journey to freedom.  DISPLACED is a story of those who escaped, lived in displaced person camps and ultimately found haven in the USA.  It is a story told by children, now adults, who are of the last generation to have lived through those harrowing times.

SYNOPSIS

   DISPLACED is a neglected history of WWII and its aftermath told by children, now adults, among the last generation to survive those times.  The exodus began in 1944 as many Eastern Europeans prepared to flee the Soviet Union with its expanding web of death and deportation to Siberia.  These refugees took what they could carry on backs, on bikes, in carriages and horse-drawn wagons.  Each storyteller had their own harrowing experience. George's two week old baby sister was sent to relatives as they anticipated a tough journey and a quick return.  It was 12 years before they saw the child again.

     The destination wasn't always clear as the war front kept changing course.. Danger was everywhere.  Allies and Soviets bombed with no regard for civilians.  Algute’s mother hid under the wagon while her father went to a ditch shielding Algute with his body. Algute wanted to see the bombs bursting in air; her dad wanted her to survive.

      After the war, the Allies and later the newly formed United Nations administered displaced persons' camps.  Alfonsas' family was one of many living in barracks with makeshift curtains separating one family from another. They attempted normalcy through years of uncertainty. Schools were established; cultural and family traditions were maintained.  Amidst the growing cold war between the USA and its former ally, Russia, years would pass before a real home could be found.

     At last a ship ride brings our storytellers to the United States.  The children, for the first time, see cities with lights, cities that weren't in rubble.  This remarkable history uses archival footage and newsreels as well as animation to give life to this too long neglected history.

 

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

My goal in film is to preserve and validate the memory of lives lived.   Having had a mother with Alzheimers and now living out my senior years, I value the role of memories in a life. The community showings of my short film THE BRADDOCK BOYS, a story of 1950s boyhood and a neighborhood park, became like reunions and celebrations of youth well spent.  It was wonderful to show another era and see the audience so involved.   When I first heard the stories that constitute DISPLACED, I was moved and shocked that I had been unaware of this history that affected so many.   It had to be documented before the last generation to go through it was gone.   My storytellers so calmly related stories of heroically surviving horrific times.   There are heroes all around us and I want them to be recognized.

KEY CREW

MARY UMANS - Director

MARY UMANS, Director, has been a collector of stories all her life.  She recently made the transition from the written word to the visual one.  Her short film, The Braddock Boys, about a growing up in the 50s at a park in Long Island, NY was featured at the Manhattan Film Festival.  It has been shown at a number of local civic events and on the public access television show Nancy's Corner hosted by Nancy Massaro.  The Braddock Boys is part of the permanent collection of the Floral Park library.  www.thebraddockboys@weebly.com

JOSEPH JAKUBAUSKAS - EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

 JOSEPH JAKUBAUSKAS, Executive Producer, is of Lithuanian descent and has long been a student of the history of both the Baltic States and World War II.   His professional experience has been in sales and promotion. He has traveled extensively in Lithuania to visit relatives and his familiar with its geography and history.

William Lehman - Editor

Will is a filmmaker and editor who lived and worked in New York for ten years.  Currently based in Oregon, his recent work includes editing the documentary feature "Profiled" and contributing to the films "The Yes Men are Revolting" and "Meru" winner of the 2015 Sundance Audience Award for Best Documentary.

Tim Ballard - Animator

Tim as a student of philosophy, art history and documentary film, was fortunate enough to kill two birds with one stone by integrating two of his greatest loves - history and visual art - while working as an animator for DISPLACED.

William Ryan Fritch - Composer

William is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and producer based in the San Franciso bay area.  He has scored and contributed music to numerous award winning documentary and narrative films including the 2016 Academy Award nominated "4.1 Miles."  His music has been featured in films, shows and miniseries for Netflix, HBO, Amazon, AMC, CBS, IFC, Showitme, Discovery  and PBS as well as dance and theatre productions, art installations and national ad campaigngs.  In addition, he has an active recording career, releasing more than 30 albums.

Karen Everett - Story Consultant

Karen is one of the world's leading documentary story consultants as well as an award winning documentary filmmaker.  Her business, New Doc Editing provides directors with talented documentary editors as well as story consultants.  Author of the bood, Documentary Editing, she has directed five of her own documentaries, most recently "The Story of Barbara Marx Hubbard."

 

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ACCOLADES

-
IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2019
-
From the Heart Productions has listed DISPLACED as one of the Hot Films in the Making.  

 

UPDATE - February 21, 2019

DISPLACED is completed!  We are now preparing for viewings in community and educational organizations.

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