The Jump

The Jump

It’s Thanksgiving Day, 1970. The US coast guard sets out to meet a Soviet vessel anchored just off the shore of Martha’s Vineyard. A one-day conference between the two nations has been set to discuss fishing rights in the Atlantic Ocean. While the talks are in full swing, Lithuanian sailor Simas Kudirka jumps across the icy water onto the American boat in a frantic bid for freedom. To his horror, and to the outcry of the world media, the Americans return him to the Soviets and he is tried for treason. The event sets off a series of protests throughout the US begging for his freedom and all hope seems lost, until new information about Simas’ citizenship surfaces. 

Through eye-witness reports, rare archival footage and a dramatic first-person re-enactment by now 90-year-old would-be defector Simas Kudirka, director Giedrė Žickytė takes us on a stranger-than-fiction journey that became an inspiration for people, pictures and politics, reaching all the way up to the White House.

Credits
Country
Lithuania, Latvia, France, USA
Year
2020
Length
85'
Written and directed by
Giedrė Žickytė
Produced by
Giedrė Žickytė, Uldis Cekulis
In co-production with
Catherine Simeon, Daniel J. Chalfen
Executive producers
Vesna Cudic, Andrius Korvel, Jim Butterworth, Maxime Owyszer
Cinematographer
Rimvydas Leipus Lac
Editors
Thomas Ernst, Danielius Kokanauskis
Composer
Kipras Mašanauskas
Sound Designer
Jonas Maksvytis
Story Consultant
Josh Alexander
Production Companies
MOONMAKERS, VFS Films, Faites Un Voeu, Naked Edge Films
International sales
MetFilm Sales