Lietuvos Bankas

In Lietuvos Bankas, elements from Lithuanian banknotes become independent and tell their short but thoroughly dramatic story. On the tower the flag wafts - in the beginning, the wind is good - the airplane takes off, at first passing through various backgrounds at a leisurely pace, over landscapes and houses from a bird´s-eye perspective. One has the feeling of being on a contemplative, circular flight, even a bit of a sentimental journey, through villages and cities of yesteryear. Irony comes into play with an eye that demonstratively follows the airplane or type face, bringing in hints of a meta-level. All of the elements exist on the same stage, are set pieces shifted back and forth on the surface. Later, things intensify somewhat, the symphonic, almost romantic music from fragments of works by Olivier Messian become softer, the cuts faster, the mouth small; we see high waves, the lighthouse beams out from all sides - and ultimately, the airplane crashes, tumbles into the depths of the ornament.

Lietuvos Bankas is a film that takes as its starting material the Lithuanian banknote and initially handles it in an entirely abstract way. Money is not only money - a means to an end; symbol of exchange. Barbara Musil is interested in the banknote´s pictures, forms, and Farbensprache (colour language), becomes involved in their symbols. She takes the graphics literally, alienates them by shifting their scale and placing them in surreal contexts. In this way, money is humorously lifted from its invisible and banal daily existence, rediscovered and revitalized as a graphic, ornamental object. But even more so, Lietuvos Bankas functions furthermore as a commentary on the nature of money: capital is always moving and circulates, regardless of what might happen.

(Sylvia Szely)

The film looks at the value of banknotes as pictorial images. These small graphic images reveal at maximum magnification various stories and secrets, and in the course of the film a process of transformation begins, distancing them from their concrete identity towards the ornamental.

(Barbara Musil)

In this animated film individual features on Lithuanian bank notes begin to live a life of their own, lose their integrated function as currency, and transform to become the backdrop to a dramatic story of a plane in a perfect wind taking flight over a landscape as idyllic as though from a distant and well-ordered era, and ultimately, accompanied by fragments of a composition by Oliviera Messiaena, flying straight into a catastrophe, which can also be interpreted as a light reference to the uncontrollable movement of capital.

(Int. Documentary Film Festival Jihlava 2008)

Orig. Title
Lietuvos Bankas
2 min 30 sec
Barbara Musil
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Barbara Musil
Olivier Messians
Barbara Musil
Available Formats
Festivals (Selection)
Linz - Crossing Europe Film Festival
Wien - Tricky Women / Animationsfilmfestival
Victoria - Antimatter Underground Film Festival
Vilnius - Tindirindis International Animated Film Festival
San Diego Women's Film Festival
Wilmington - Cucalorus Annual Festival of Independent Film
Jihlava Documentary Film Festival