Baltic Film Weekend: LATVIA

VALIANT!

YEAR: 2021

DIRECTED BY: MĀRA PELĒCIS

RUNTIME: 1H 13M

A CAR
A CAUSE
AND THE COLD WAR

Juris and his mates paint an old Plymouth Valiant “Slant Six”
with anti-Soviet slogans like “Nyet, nyet Soviet!” and “Go(rbachev) to hell!”.
Day to day, while driving around his home state of New Jersey,
Juris uses the car to further the seemingly hopeless task –
to free illegally occupied Latvia.

During the last years of the Cold War, the political antics of American Latvian youth
managed to draw attention to the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States –
generating headlines when few could even find Latvia on a map.

Meeting Latvian organizers today,
Valiant! reveals unorthodox strategies behind their newsworthy protests.
Now, at a time when Russia threatens Ukraine
and Putin laments the break-up of the Soviet Union,
it begs the question whether Latvian freedom efforts against Russian aggression
are in fact “just history”?

Director Māra Pelēcis
Cinematography Māra Pelēcis
Editing Dita Gruze
Producer Marianna Auliciema
Stsenaarium Marianna Auliciema,
Māra Pelēcis, Dita Gruze