"The Green Musketeers" - the fight of Lithuania's most famous environmental movement for the preservation of nature, human freedom and independence of Lithuania

Film Production company "Ketvirta versija"
2015 March 20 d.

On 20 March, in Kaunas, cinema Romuva, the new documentary film "The Green Musketeers" by the Swedish director Jonas Öhman will be presented to the audience. On 22 and 29 March the premiere will move to Vilnius, where the film will be presented as part of the special program of "Kino pavasaris" festival.

At the core of "The Green Musketeers" is the environmental club "Atgaja", established in Kaunas during the period of regaining independence, and its initiator and leader Saulius Gricius. With its radical and creative protests against the totalitarian system, Atgaja contributed significantly to the growing movement of restoration of Independence, and the club leader Saul Gricius left an indelible mark in the history of modern Lithuania.  

Associates of now deceased Saulius Gricius, former and current Atgaja club members who were burning with the ideas of greener and fairer independent Lithuania up to the depths of their souls, share their memories about the leader of the movement, protest campaigns and Marches for Peace and Ecology. Remembering the past, they paddle down the rivers through the places where the most significant events of Atgaja occurred.

"Flowing water that surrounds Gricius' close acquaintances, members of the legendary environmental movement, has become the main motif of the film that symbolizes the flow of life and time", - says director Jonas Öhman. 

J. Öhman says that with the film he seeks to show the phase of modern Lithuanian history that is slightly forgotten, and little-known to the present-day younger generation. In addition to the memories of witnesses of those times, audience will also see a number of unique documentary shots of the brightest environmental, pacifist and other protests organized by Atgaja.

According to the current chairman of Atgaja, Gricius' close friend and "comrade-in-arms" Saulius Pikšrys, who today continues to implement green ideas among the ranks of Lithuanian Green Party, the campaigns by the greens in those times used to assemble big groups of youth and they shook significantly the Soviet system and further fueled the spirit of Lithuania marching towards its Independence.

"Saulius Gricius understood the significance of the impact that massive protests could make to the then government, therefore he inspired his friends to participate in the Ecological protest march. During it, we were carrying the tricolour in the most remote corners of Lithuania and proclaiming that the Soviet administration was executing ecological genocide: that industry and agriculture were doing irreparable damage to the environment, that the military bases were committing inadmissible crimes against nature. In the summer of 1989, Saulius Gricius, with the help of Atgaja people organized another, even more impressive campaign - Peace March from Vilnius to Klaipėda. With their bravery, its participants stunned the Russian military. Activists entered the military aerodrome in Kėdainiai through a hole in the fence, and sat down in complete silence holding banners "Red army, go home". Raudonoji armija, namo). For Atgaja it was important not only to draw attention to environmental threats, but also to promote the anti-war ideas, demonstrate that the most effective tool against violence is non-violent resistance", - tells Saulius Vytas Pikšrys.

Namely with its radical protests, "pressure" against the state institutions, and diplomatic negotiations, the biggest environmental achievements of Atgaja were attained. 

Today, the story of this exceptional environmental movement comes alive, more than twenty years after the death of the main Atgaja leader and mastermind of campaigns, Saulius Gricius.