Baltic Tribes Image

Baltic Tribes

By Hunter Lanier | January 6, 2020

Baltic Tribes, directed by Lauris Abele and Raitis Abele, is neither a narrative drama nor a straightforward documentary. It uses a fictional 13th-century Christian named Lars as a catalyst for a dramatized journey into the culture of the Baltic people, who are considered to be the last pagans of Europe—the final holdouts in a land that was being rapidly Christianized.

This story is told with actors, but no dialogue. Information is supplied through the narrators, one of which is Lars, which gives us the 13th-century Christian perspective on the pagan lifestyle. Other narrators are more objective, one of which sounds a lot like the passionless voice in cheap headphones that guides you through a museum exhibit. As you may have figured out by now, this movie is not unlike one of those History Channel shows with a narrator speaking over recreations of historical events. Before that gets anyone gets excited, the pagans do not convene with aliens.

“…a dramatized journey into the culture of the Baltic people, who are considered to be the last pagans of Europe…”

Setting out to be informative above all else, Baltic Tribes is well done. It’s the kind of educational video that when the TV is rolled into the classroom, and the lights are turned off, the 15-year-old version of you might actually opt to stay awake. The recreations are believable enough, and the visuals—while they can occasionally betray a certain cheapness—are often impressive, regardless of their production value. In other words, the townsfolk don’t instantly look like extras in rugs with some dirt sponged onto their faces.

Baltic Tribes (2020)

Directed: Lauris Abele, Raitis Abele

Written: Toms Kencis

Starring: Kaspars Anins, Kristaps Bedritis, Lauma Balode, Marija Skangale, Carl Biorsmark, Guna Zarina, Kaspars Znotins, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Baltic Tribes Image

"…an archeological dig discovered more than two-hundred horses buried around a stone idol."

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  1. Ray Balsys says:

    I teach at a Lithuanian Saturday School in Palm Beach, Florida, and am getting more active i having more Baltic Events in the area. I could use your film as a special lesson for my older students, and perhaps share it with a wider/older group. Who can I contact?

    Ray Balsys

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