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DVD, Latvia, , , , ,

Tale Kalna is a magnificent woman: hardworking, clever, strong and with a great sense for human relationships. In another life, Tale Kalna might have made it to the presidency of Latvia, but reality has made her a farmer with a small parcel of land, a couple of cows and an unflagging work ethic. Her daughter is Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen, also the director of this affectionate film. A documentary that doesn’t only focus on Tale Kalna’s personal life, but connects that life to the recent history of Latvia, a new member of the European Union. In an eclectic collage of audio and visual fragments, we see all the important moments pass by. The voice-over tells us how the once wealthy country of Latvia experienced great poverty in the post-war years as part of the Soviet Union. We witness how Tale was a cog in the toilsome Communist bureaucratic machine back then. She found a kindred spirit in Mikhail Gorbachev, and with him in power, independent farms returned to the Latvian landscape. Tale and her second husband left the city in 1991 to start a modest farm. From that moment on, Jacobsen began filming her mother and became the chronicler of a harsh farming existence.

2009 The Art of the Document Festival: The 1st Prize of the Future of Media
2009 Latvian National Film Award Lielais Kristaps for Best Documentary

Screenwriter and Director: Ilze Burkovska-Jakobsena
Cinematographers: Agris Birzulis, Tronds Jakobsens, Viktors Gribermans, Haralds Vecvagars
Composer: Rasa Belova
Producers: Tronds Jakobsens, Guntis Trekteris
Ego Media and Bivrost Film & TV, Norway
52 min., DV, 2008

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