The Lithuanian filmmaker Arūnas Žebriūnas’ restored 1969 classic The Beauty is opening across cinemas in France today. The film’s premiere in Paris is to be attended by Žebriūnas’ daughter, the artist Monika Edgar, accompanied by Paris based Lithuanian director Alantė Kavaitė. It is the first time that a Lithuanian classic film runs in multiple cinemas outside the country. The classic story of a girl will screen in over dozen cinemas in Paris and double to that across France.
Ed Distribution, one of France’s biggest cinema heritage distributors, is bringing The Beauty to French cinephiles after having spotted the film in spring 2017 and concluded a successful deal with the Lithuanian Film Centre. The company has acquired rights to distribute the film across all Francophone territories in Europe.
The film’s restoration and digitisation in 2015 was commissioned by the Lithuanian Film Centre, in cooperation with the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania. Ever since it was made available for modern screens, The Beauty has been shown across Lithuania as well as in numerous film festivals in Poland, Israel, Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, Romania and Latvia; last January, the film was part of the Lithuanian retrospective in the Cinémathèque Française and was screened at the prestigious La Rochelle film festival in France this summer. The Beauty has been included into a number of film education programmes.
Arūnas Žebriūnas’ film holds an important place in Lithuania’s cinematic canon and is revered for its poetic style, dramatic power and its successful attempt to look at the world of children through the eyes of a child. The Beauty has been compared to world cinema classics such as Albert Lamorisse’s White Mane or The Red Balloon.