Giedre Zickyte
The Jump
Part of
The Jump

The Jump

Giedre Zickyte

85 min.
Lithuania, Latvia and France
English and Lithuanian
Subtitles: Catalan, Spanish and English

In 1970, a Lithuanian sailor jumped from his Soviet ship to a U.S. coastguard. The jump provoked a colossal conflict in the midst of the Cold War.


Giedre Zickyte
Executive Production
Vesna Cudic, Andrius Korvel, Jim Butterworth, Maxime Owyszer
Jonas Maksvytis
Giedrė Žickytė for MOONMAKERS, Uldis Cekulis for VFS Films
Catherine Simeon for Faites Un Voeu
Rimvydas Leipus Lac
Thomas Ernst, Danielius Kokanauskis
Kipras Mašanauskas

It's Thanksgiving Day 1970. The U.S. Coast Guard approaches a Soviet ship anchored on Martha's Vineyard. The two world powers have agreed on a meeting to discuss fishing rights in the Atlantic Ocean. While talks are underway, Lithuanian sailor Simas Kudirka jumps on the American ship. The jump triggers a series of chaotic events and causes a colossal conflict in the middle of the Cold War.

The United States denied his request for political asylum, and Kudirka returned to the Soviet Union on charges of treason. The Nixon government saw protests for Kudirka's freedom spread across the country.

Through the first-person testimonies of those who witnessed the jump, unseen archive material and the fun recreations of Kurdirka himself - he is now 90 and has an unforgettable sense of humor - director Giedrė Žickytė constructs an inspiring story with incredible twists.

DocsBarcelona Panorama Section, supported by ARTE

About the direction
Giedre Zickyte

Giedre Zickyte


Giedrė Žickytė is an award-winning Lithuanian documentary film director and Producer and the co-foun...

DocsBarcelona Trajectory

DocsBarcelona Festival · Panorama
Edició 2021

Awards and festivals

Salem Film Festival
EUA, 2021
Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
Grecia, 2021
Warsaw International Film Festival
Polonia, 2020
EUA, 2020
Giedre Zickyte
The Jump
Watch the trailer
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The story is brilliantly told and rich in surprises, and The Jump is surely one of this year’s unmissable non-fiction titles.

— Davide Abbatescianni · Cineuropa

It is hard to make a genuinely entertaining documentary because genuinely entertaining people are hard to find. Simas Kudirka is genuinely entertaining.

— Ron Wilkinson · It's Just Movies

The lively nature of the film’s protagonist and his extraordinary life story is The Jump’s greatest asset, making it a respectful and inspirational piece of documentary cinema.

— Marko Stojiljković · Ubiquarian
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