The third day of the inaugural New York Baltic Film Festival closes with Merija’s Journey /Merijas ceļojums. When the Germans retreated from Latvia in 1944, they took 700 boxes of art works and ancient manuscripts from the nation’s museums with them. Joining them was Marija Grinberga, who volunteered to keep her eye on the treasures until they could be returned home. Over the following years, Grinberga was subjected to tension-filled confrontations first with the Nazis and later with Soviet occupation forces with Riga, until she was finally successful at shepherding the materials back to Latvia, only to then be fired from her museum.
Today, many of these treasures are safely housed at Latvia’s museums, thanks to Grinberga. Kristine Zelve’s documentary follows the stories of this remarkable woman, told through Ginberga’s diaries about her struggles to fend off the bureaucracies of the two occupying powers. (82 min. Latvia, 2018. In Latvian with English Subtitles.)
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Kristine Zelve is a film director, TV host, writer and journalist. She studied at the Faculty of Theatre of the Latvian Academy of Music, and in 1996 graduated from the Academy of Culture of Latvia, the first course of film directing tutored by the outstanding documentary filmmaker Ansis Epners. In the beginning of 1990s she participated at several festivals of video art, worked at the Film Forum Arsenāls, the film magazine Kino Raksti and the culture magazine Forums.
For 10 years she has hosted the TV show 100g kultūras at the Latvian Television, and she also wrote a book of stories The Girl Who Cut My Hair (2011). Directed several documentary and short feature films, in 2012 Kristine finished her documentary Fedya about the Latvian-born Finnish film director Teuvo Tulio, and also compiled a selection of writings about him, Fedja. Teodors. Tulio (2013).
2018 New York Baltic Film Festival
The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have been producing motion pictures since 1910. While not as well-known as those in Scandinavia and other parts of Europe, their industries have met challenges in one era or another that ultimately only galvanized their creative ambitions for features, documentaries, and animation shorts. Through the screening of both the latest productions and selected classics, the inaugural 2018 New York Baltic Film Festival offers an unprecedented opportunity to see the best in northern European film making.
The New York Baltic Film Festival is presented by Scandinavia House and organized by the Consulate General of Estonia, Consulate General of Lithuania and Consulate of Latvia in New York. Programming support is from the Estonian Film Institute, National Film Center of Latvia, and Lithuanian Film Center. Funding for the festival is courtesy of governments of the Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and by the generous donations of members of the Baltic community in New York. Additional support to the festival is from the Lithuanian Cultural Institute, the Consulate General of Finland in New York, and the American Scandinavian Foundation.
SAT—October 20—8:15 PM
$12 ($7 ASF Members)
Series Pass $90 ($55 ASF Members)