Lauma Balode

Film

SELECTEd films

Baltic Tribes. Last Pagans.

A popular science documentary about the last pagans of Europe - the Baltic tribes.

  • Role: Estonian prisoner
  • Title: Baltic Tribes. Last Pagan
  • Director: Raitis Abele, Lauris Abele.

Synopsis

The “main hero” is a merchant from Gotland- Lars- who travels from one territory to another, thus introducing the audience to the various Baltic tribal locations, habits, traditions, rituals, laws and other aspects of evidence that today can be researched and reconstructed thanks to the modern science and archaeology.

To embark on a trading expedition through Eastern Baltic Sea coastal lands Gothlandian merchant Lars arrives at the ancient Prussian seaport (todays Poland) and hires a local crew, who will accompany him in his trading journey. After an accident in the market square they are forced to learn the local Prussian laws and religious practices.

On the road the main characters explore the Gallindian household and domestic life, learn about diseases and medicine and witness the sacrificial rituals practised by Yotvingians.

Then their journey heads north/east and the crew become witnesses of how Lithuanians and Aukštaitians establish their country (todays Lithuania). Further down the road, they participate in Selonian summer solstice rituals and meet the Livonian Brothers of Sword. During their short stay with Livonians, the crew faces the Couronian attack and the film’s main protagonist and his fellow travellers are captured. They are forced to spend several years in Kursa working as slaves.

The story ends with the Battle of Saule (last and largest Nothern Crusade battle) where Lars, the main character dies.

Throughout the film historians, archaeologists and scientists comment the events.

Overall, having watched the documentary film the viewers will have gained a notion of the life and historical context of the late Middle Ages in the Eastern and Northern part of the Baltic Sea and what heritage these tribes have left us for today.

Ance Rusova