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Lithuanian auteur Sharunas Bartas' haunting, bleakly beautiful vision of post-communist Eastern Europe evokes the signature cinematic worlds of Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Bresson and Béla Tarr.
Little-known in North America, Lithuanian auteur Sharunas Bartas' demanding, minimalist works have earned comparisons to Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Bresson, and Bartas' great contemporary Béla Tarr. Set in a rundown apartment building in Lithuania shortly after the country gained its independence from the USSR, The Corridor (released in the same year as Tarr's magnum opus Sátántangó) is a meditative, virtually plotless portrait of people trapped in limbo, wandering the halls of the decaying building and staring out their windows in search of a freedom that is nowhere in sight. In one of the film's most powerful and emblematic scenes, a young boy is repeatedly thrown into a puddle by two bullies; when they finally leave the boy alone, he crawls to the pavement but is too exhausted to stand. Shot in haunting black and white, The Corridor is a bleakly beautiful vision of a post-communist Eastern Europe proceeding into an uncertain future while still bearing the inescapable weight of the past.