Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


Before They Meet & Scenic View

Scenic View
Maija Blåfield, Finland 2023
Language: Finnish, English
Subtitles: English

What is ”authentic” nature, and what is an ”authentic” nature documentary? Can we see the forestry behind the neatly planted trees? Are we able to recognise the new, capricious shapes urban nature takes? And how on earth can a bear be enticed to perform for the camera? Maija Blåfield’s new work takes a look at the ways ”naturalness” is created. It reveals what is cropped out of the frame and hidden behind the scenes when nature is filmed. The gaze of this essayistic film reaches from the eastern border of Finland to the abandoned buildings of Detroit. 

Tytti Rantanen (translated by Virpi Sumu)

Before They Meet
At each side of the border between Lithuania and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave surrounded by the EU, there is an ornithologic station independently studying the migration of the birds. Will the succeed to collaborate?

Production notes

Can bird watching bring different populations together, break down borders and put an end to wars? No, not at all, but a sparrow can act as a fitting metaphor for all that. At least it can in the mind of Lithuanian director Vytautas Puidokas, who has signed his name to the documentary Before They Meet, which has been selected for the Bergamo Film Meeting’s Close-Up section.

– – Before They Meet homes in on migratory birds, but it alludes to human migrants and, in some respects, anticipates modern-day debates: is it right to isolate and punish the culture of a country whose bosses are responsible for an atrocious war? Or should science and culture remain a free zone, kept entirely separate from political and economic sanctions, and dialogue remain open, distinguishing a government’s wicked acts from the people who must suffer them?

Camille De Marco, Cineuropa

Before They Meet director Vytautas Puidokas is present in the screening of his film on Thu, Feb 2.

Language: Russian, Lithuanian
Subtitles: English
Length: 68 min
Age Limit: S
Year: 2021
Production Country: Lithuania, Belgium, Norway, Croatia

Director: Vytautas Puidokas
Producer: Frederik Nicolaï, Eric Goossens
Production Company: Off World
Distribution Company: Off World
Screenplay: Frederik Nicolaï, Vytautas Puidokas
Editing: Anna Savchenko
Cinematographer: Kristina Sereikaitė
Music: Frédéric Vercheval
Sound Design: Rune Hansen