Četri balti krekli

Četri balti krekliFour White Shirts

Retrospective, Latvia 1967, 73 Min., lv. OV, engl. st

In 1967 Riga, the pop band Optimisti seems unlikely to get permission to perform live after a dyspeptic culture functionary criticises their lyrics, citing pornographic subtexts and other hidden meanings. While the songwriter – telephone technician, singer, and composer Cēzars Kalniņš – categorically rejects making any changes, the band manager is open to redacting the lyrics to ensure the band’s survival. The band’s internal conflict triggers an intense discussion about artistic freedom in pop culture under the communist regime. When the film was made, a Soviet culture functionary felt it caricatured her, so it was banned and didn’t see the big screen until 1986. With its poetic songs and realistic images of Riga, this Latvian contribution to Europe’s “New Wave” cinema accurately captured the era’s attitude to life. Since its premiere, this early work by Rolands Kalniņš has become a modern classic, with the director praised as the “Latvian Godard”.

Director Rolands Kalniņš

Screenplay Gunārs Priede

Producer Georgs Blūmentāls

Production Company Riga Film Studio, Smerla 3, LV 1006 Lettland, Web: www.studio.lv

Festival Contact National Film Centre of Latvia, 10 Peitavas Str., 1050 Riga, Mail: nfc@nkc.gov.lv, Web: www.nkc.gov.lv/en/

Cast Uldis Pūcītis (Cēzars Kalniņš), Dina Kuple (Anita Sondore), Līga Liepiņa (Bella), Pauls Butkēvičs (Ralfs)


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No screenings are available for this film.