History 52'


Baltic forests. A quarter in Lithuania, a third in Latvia and almost half in Estonia. This is where, in the 20th century, a drama unfolded behind closed doors: the resistance of a handful of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian partisans against the Soviet Union's stranglehold on their territory at the end of the Second World War.


For ten years, from 1944 to 1953, the fight for freedom by those we call the "Brothers of the Forest" defied the Kremlin, claiming more than 50,000 victims. In the days of the USSR, they were portrayed as outlaws, bandits driven by villainous motives. But since the Baltic States regained their independence in 1991, monuments have been erected everywhere in their honor. These men and women have come to symbolize the price paid for the right to live free.


Who were these freedom fighters? What was their real life like in the forest? How did they fight, and how were they defeated? How did these men and women, placed by history between the Nazis and the Soviets, escape the general bloodshed of the 20th century?


At a time when Russia has just demonstrated to the world that it has, in no way, renounced its imperialist project, this film plunges into the archives and the very places where this memory is still alive, to shed light on these fighters and their heritage, them who put up a fierce and hopeless resistance to the USSR.

Direction: Antoine de Meaux

Production: Program 33 & ERA FILM for France Télévisions & LRT

Delivery: June 2024

Languages: French, English

see also