The 6th Annual New York Baltic Film Festival (NYBFF) presented by Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America returns this November with the best new films from the Baltic region! This year’s lineup includes the International Premiere of Armands Zvirbulis’s Crime Solving for Beginners (Krimināllieta iesācējam, Latvia/Lithuania, 2022), a gripping Baltic Noir series set within the turbulent landscape of post-Soviet Latvia. The first two episodes of the seven-episode TV series will screen at Scandinavia House on November 12; all episodes of the series will be available to stream virtually from November 13-19 for both in-person and virtual ticketholders. **A film talk with director director Armands Zvirbulis follows the in-person screening.**
In 1995, Latvia is freshly liberated from Soviet control, yet still grappling with the remnants of its past. On the same day that the nation destroys a significant Soviet symbol, a popular nationalist MP’s aide is brutally murdered, revealing a political conspiracy in his wake. Through three intertwining plotlines, we meet three protagonists navigating the event and the complexities of this new era — including a young investigator unraveling the web of power dynamics, a released career criminal, and the formidable Natalia Nolle, whose KGB-trained mind has influenced politicians.
Directed with the flair of Baltic Noir, the series captures the ambiguity of a nation in transition, delving into a world where old laws no longer apply and new ones remain undefined, showcasing the challenges faced by individuals shaped by both Soviet and democratic influences. The multi-layered narrative structure enables the exploration of Latvia’s journey from oppression to freedom, while highlighting the intricate connections between personal and political struggles, encapsulating the essence of a society grappling with change.