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This film is about a small world found in the heart of Riga, and right in the middle of the Daugava River – Zaķusala (Rabbit Island) – a place that has preserved an ambience of another century. Janka lives on Zaķusala and has to take a ferry to his work at the shipyard. He meets Anita and a relationship blossoms, but then Anita suddenly disappears from the city, and from Janka’s life…

The film An Apple in the River has entered the Latvian cultural cannon as a peculiarity in Latvia’s cinematic history – a dramatic film shot in an authentic environment and with techniques usually reserved for documentaries; the filmmakers disturbed the flow of real-life events as little as possible – mostly provoking, rather than scripting them. There was no written dialog in the screenplay, so the acting was largely based on improvisation; the filmmakers’ previous experience was only in documentary film, and they turned to the dramatic genre only later on. As a result, An Apple in the River is a true and flawless portrayal of an era, and has become an example of cinematic avant-garde for its time.

Screenwriter and Director: Aivars Freimanis
Cinematographer: Dāvis Sīmanis
Composer: Pēteris Plakidis
Riga Film Studio, 1974

Cast: Anita – Akvelīna Līvmane, Janka – Ivars Kalniņš

Language: Latvian
Subttles: ENG, RUS
Lenght: 1h 15 min
Format: color, 1:2.35
Audio: Mono
Region: PAL (All)
Digitally remastered sound and picture.

Film Archaeology: An Apple in the River (director Agita Cāne – Ķīle, screenwriter Daira Āboliņa, 2014.g., 52 min.). The documentary looks into the creation of director Aivars Freimanis’ film An Apple in the River. (origin. language – Latvian, no subtitles; video footage from Latvian Television archives.)

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