Indre is an ambitious psychology post-grad, keen to work alongside Dr Dumauskas, head clinician of a mental health treatment centre. She’s more interested in data analysis than in rubbing shoulders with the patients. Dumauskas feels she needs hands-on experience so promises more access to data if she drives two acutely suffering patients to another clinic on the other side of the country (Lithuania). Begrudgingly, Indre sets out with Juste, who is recovering from a suicide attempt but insists she isn’t sick, and Paulius, suffering from bi-polar disorder. This is road movie as therapy, as, brought together in the confines of their car, hints of healing for all three gradually emerge.
This sensitive and beautifully filmed examination of the everyday burdens of living with mental illness asserts that the line between those who are diagnosed and those who are not isn’t as clear-cut as one might think. Indre is suffering as much as her charges, and the human connections and fragile hope that blossom as their journey progresses is wonderfully articulated by outstanding performances.
What the critics say….
“Summer Survivors – the debut feature by Lithuanian filmmaker Marija Kavtaradze – a quirky indie comedy with touches of the absurd….lighthearted, funny moments, (but) there is a steady vein of wistful melancholy running through it from frame one….Director/writer Kavtaradze has an assured stylistic sense…..an accomplishment that’s all the more impressive given that Summer Survivors is the director’s first feature.” - Teresa Nieman, Screen Anarchy
“….a low key road trip in which we’re invited to get to know the different characters ourselves and to laugh” - Jennie Kermode, Eye For Film