“Miracle” in Toronto: a character like Donald Trump and the star of Eglė Mikulionytė

In Script
2017 October 2 d.

“Miracle”, the tragicomedy by Eglė Vertelytė was received with packed cinema halls at the International Toronto Film Festival, where the world premiere of the film took place. “The Miracle” is the second Lithuanian film, that, after 17 years, has been selected for screening at the most important in North America and one of the most prestigious film events in the world. This festival is only the beginning of international travels of the film.

The story of the head-on of socialism and capitalism in the early 1990’s Lithuanian pig farm was presented to the world on 8 September at the Toronto International Film Festival, “Discovery” program. Screenwriter and director Eglė Vertelytė and the main actors Eglė Mikulionytė and Vyto Ruginis participated in the screenings of the “Miracle” and discussions with the audience.

“At the festival of such calibre you feel like a tiny fish in the huge ocean of the industry, but to be able to really assess yourself, it’s very important to sail into that ocean occasionally. It’s an opportunity to see yourself in the global context,” – says Eglė Vertelytė, sharing her experiences from Toronto.

Subtlety, irony and unexpected associations

The film’s team is pleased that the “Miracle” has received a lot of attention in  Toronto – filled cinema halls, applause, Eglė Mikulionytė’s recognition in the streets of Toronto, reviews of the critics.

The review by Gilbert Seah in the AfroToronto magazine described the film as edgy and completely engaging. Film critic Vassilis Economou wrote on the Cineuropa website: “Miracle” is a subtle, deadpan, tragicomic and almost satirical critique on the abrupt passage from communism to rampant capitalism and the unconventional lust for anything Westernised that the former Soviet republics displayed in the early 1990s. Michael McNeely (Dork Shelf) notes in his review: “Miracle” joins the ranks of spot-on Eastern European satires... dry sense of humour, strong female lead, and intriguing complexities.

Many of the reviews about the film had similar, though unexpected associations: Eglė Vertelytė’s style with the famous Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, Eglė Mikulionytė – with Kati Outinen, character played by Vyto Ruginis – with the controversial US President Donald Trump. While some of the comparisons look even very respectable, many of them are completely accidental.

Travel around the world

On 1 October, the European premiere of the film has taken place at Reykjavik International Film Festival. The British magazine “The New European” included the festival in the list of “film festivals you won’t want to miss in 2017”, describing it as the most youthful, presenting the new generation of talented film directors from all over the world. This month, the “Miracle” will also participate in the competition programs of the Luxembourg International Film Festival CinEast and one of the oldest European festivals, the 62nd Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain.

Interestingly, the first territory in which the film was sold for distribution is China.  Then it was followed by other Asian countries, including Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and others. I’m really looking forward to see the film dubbed in Chinese,” – says producer of the film Lukas Trimonis.

The film’s national premiere will take place at the European Film Forum Scanorama, and the film will reach Lithuanian cinema theatres on 8 December.


In the photo - Vyto Ruginis, Eglė Vertelytė, Eglė Mikulionytė at the Toronto Festival.