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Jonas Mekas

Jonas Mekas (Lithuanian pronunciation: [ˈjonɐs ˈmækɐs]; born December 24, 1922) is a Lithuanian-born American filmmaker, writer, and curator who has often been called "the godfather of American avant-garde cinema." His work has been exhibited in museums and festivals across Europe and America. In 1944, Mekas left Lithuania because of war. En route, his train was stopped in Germany and he and his brother, Adolfas Mekas (1925-2011), were imprisoned in a labor camp in Elmshorn, a suburb of Hamburg, for eight months. The brothers escaped and were detained near the Danish border where they hid on a farm for two months until the end of the war. After the war, Mekas lived in displaced person camps in Wiesbaden and Kassel. From 1946-48, he studied philosophy at the University of Mainz and at the end of 1949, he emigrated with his brother to the U.S., settling in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. Two weeks after his arrival, he borrowed the money to buy his first Bolex 16-mm camera and began to record moments of his life.

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