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In terms of social resonance, Vilis Lapenieks’ film The Fisherman’s Son has no equal. The film adaptation of Vilis Lācis’ popular novel was a national blockbuster and created such excitement that at its premiere on 2 January, 1940, the public at the Splendid Palace broke down the theatre’s doors. Deemed a “relic of bourgeois Latvia”, it was hidden during the Soviet years; when independence was regained, the film was once again up on the screen and became a symbol of the youth of the free Latvia. Slightly naive, fresh as a sea breeze, heartfelt and as real as a child of nature – Latvia’s first feature film.

Oskars lives in a typical sea-side village, but wants to break free of his father’s rule and the old ways – he dreams of new, large nets, an ice-cellar, and the fishermen’s independence from the fish wholesaler. At first, no one wants to believe in Oskars’ plans, except for happy-go-lucky Fredis. With the help of Fredis, Oskars builds a new fish trap, gaining admiration from even the old fishermen. Love and deceit also play into the story, as do colorful village characters and folksy songs, which have since been absorbed into the national folklore.

Screenwriter and Director: Vilis Lapenieks
(adapted from the novel by Vilis Lācis)
Operator: Alfrēds Polis
Composer: Jānis Mediņš
Art Director: Artūrs Cimermanis
Producer: Eduards Žebrovskis
Ministry of Public Affairs, 1940

Cast: Oskars – Pēteris Lūcis, Anita – Ņina Melbārde, Zenta – Milda Zīlava, Roberts – Hermanis Vazdiks, Fredis – Kārlis Lagzdiņš, Kļava – Ēvalds Valters, Banders – Valdemārs Švarcs and others.

Language: Latvian
Subtitles: LAT, ENG, RUS

Lenght: 1h 55 min
Format: 35mm, 4:3, black-and-white
Audio: Mono
Region: All
Year: 1940

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