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Arunas Matelis' film is a gracefully expressive documentary following the lives of children living with leukemia at a pediatric hospital in Vilnius, Lithuania. The children enter into an alien world, bereft of color and warmth, but populated with kind strangers. Inured to the routine of daily medication and meals that alternate between porridge and cabbage soup, the children dream of life beyond the clinic's thick cement walls while their parents bear the burden of uncertainty about their children's fate. The filmmaker spent eight months at this very hospital after his own daughter's successful fight against leukemia. Written by
This film,actually in English,Before Flying Back to Earth is up for a nomination for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category. It is really a very emotion packed journey through the experiences of children with Leukemia and their parents in a pediatric hospital in Vilnius. It is interspersed with humor and really beautifully done. It is a must see film and I hope it wins a nomination for then more people will see it! The inspiration for this film for Arunas Matelis, the director was his own daughters struggles with leukemia. He then went back to the hospital, befriended the other children and filmed his gem of a picture. It shows how parents actually gain strength from their children. The film is well-shot with English subtitles and has been shown at various festivals throughout the world and has won numerous prizes. I recommend everyone see it that has a chance to.
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