The Castle

Written and Directed by Lina Lužytė.

This coming of age story follows Monika (Barbora Bareikytė), a thirteen-year-old Lithuanian girl, a few weeks after she’s arrived in Dublin with her mother Jolanta(Gabija Jaraminaitė). Also living with them is Granny (Jūratė Onaitytė), who is heavily demented and requires 24/7 care. Jolanta is a professional pianist, and Monika is a singer and passionate about her music. She’s been pushing Jolanta to continue playing with her, convinced they will make it big. After they play at a funeral, Jolanta and Monika are invited by a mysterious older music impresario to play at ‘The Castle’ – the man seems to know the stars and Monika is convinced this is the ticket they’ve been waiting for. But Jolanta, a pragmatic realist, sells their keyboard and accepts a promotion at the local fish factory (alongside many others in the neighbourhood) – and tells Monika they won’t be going to the Castle. 

Desperate to go, Monika cooks up a scheme to get the €100 she needs to hire ‘her’ keyboard. Monika tries unsuccessfully to raise the money, finally ending up abducting her own Granny into a nearby flat and demanding a ransom from Jolanta. Granny nearly dies in the process and when defeated, Monika decides to return Granny, Jolanta finally understands that she mustn’t stop her daughter from pursuing her dream. As Monika reaches the Castle to give her concert, the reality of her dream opportunity becomes clear and she faces a turning point in her young life that alters the fate of her, her mother and her Granny forever.