Jonas and Adolfas Mekas arrived in America in 1949 as displaced persons, former prisoners of German labor camps, exiled from their native Lithuanian farming village. Wanted by the Soviet police, they had been forced to leave home years earlier, not to return for 27 years. REMINISCENCES OF A JOURNEY TO LITHUANIA is the compelling document of a divided family and their long-delayed reunion.
"The film consists of three parts:
The first part is made up of footage I shot with my first Bolex, during my first years in America, mostly from 1950-1953. It shows me and my brother Adolfas, how we looked in those days; miscellaneous footage of immigrants in Brooklyn, picnicking, dancing, singing; the streets of Williamsburg.
"The second part was shot in August 1971, in Lithuania. Almost all of the footage comes from Semeniskiai, the village I was born in. You see the old house, my mother (born 1887), all the brothers, goofing, celebrating our homecoming. You don't really see how Lithuania is today: you see it only through the memories of a Displaced Person back home for the first time in twenty-five years.
"The third part begins with a parenthesis in Elmshorn, a suburb of Manburg, where we spent a year in a forced labor camp during the war. After the parenthesis closes, we are in Vienna where we see some of my best friends - Peter Kubelka, Hermann Nitsch, Annette Michelson, Ken Jacobs. The film ends with the burning of the Vienna fruit market, August, 1971." - Jonas Mekas