The 4th IDFF Artdocfest/Riga Warm-Up Days will take place

From December 3-5, 2023, the Warm-Up Days of the 4th Artdocfest/Riga International Documentary Film Festival will take place in the Splendid Palace cinema. It will take place three months before the festival, the dates of which are planned for March 1-8, 2024. Three outstanding films have been selected for the program, which have not been shown in Latvia before and will touch on current problems both around the world and in everyone's daily life.

Russia's brutal war in Ukraine has changed the geopolitical situation throughout Europe and the world, and especially in the former Eastern Bloc countries, where the times of occupation and life behind the Iron Curtain are still fresh in the mind. And sometimes it seems that history repeats itself, and humanity has learned little from the past. Documentary cinema is one of the ways to encourage discussions on these extremely important issues and Artdocfest/Riga with its Warm-Up Days program tries to make a significant contribution to the development of public opinion in Latvia.

On the opening day, on December 3, the film "Motherland or Death" (2011) by Latvian-based documentarian Vitaly Mansky, who will celebrate his 60th anniversary in December, will be shown. For more than 50 years, Cuba has lived with the slogan of the victorious revolution: "Patria o Muerte" (Motherland or death). The film tells the story of a generation that was born before the revolution and today is approaching the end of its own life. When it becomes more and more clear that for them it will be possible to put a sign of identity between “homeland” and “death”. Even though Cuba is relatively far from Latvia, we too have lived through times of isolation from the world, with no way to escape, and we know what it means to live in lies and false patriotism.

On December 4, Anton Zhelnov and Anna Narinskaya's film "Rock. Paper. Scissors." (2023). It tells the story of a small publishing house in the USA "Ardis" and two Americans who changed the history of Russian literature, making the forbidden literary voices heard across borders, such as Brodsky, Nabokov, etc. The film brilliantly shows the different aspects of this process, as well as the emigration of many famous artists to the United States during the Iron Curtain, one of them being the outstanding ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, born in Riga.

On December 5, at the end of the special documentary days, the Latvian premiere of Alexandr Hahn's film "Taurins Senior" (2023) will take place. This will be the premiere screening of the film in Latvia. The director of this film very successfully uses both documentary and fiction, and it is both a comedy and a drama. Very personal, deeply human, warm and self-ironic film, where the director showed the stage of his life when a father, before his death, needs the support and care of his son. The value of the film is enhanced by the excellent ensemble of actors led by Gundars Abolins and Talivaldis Margevics, as well as the documentary footage filmed from the window of the apartment window and showing life and society in all its diversity.

Warm-Up Days of Artdocfest/Riga Festival are held with the support of Riga City Council.

Tickets can be purchased at the Splenid Palace box office.

More about the program here.