At the end of the Second World War, when the German army retreated from Latvia, it also took along 700 boxes of materials from Latvian museums. If not for a young woman named Mērija Grīnberga, the exhibition halls of many museums in Latvia would be empty today.
Grīnberga was the only volunteer who in 1944 went along with the train carrying the treasures of Latvian art in order to return with them back to Riga.
The German occupying forces tried to take them away; the Soviet occupation forces brought them back; Mērija completed her duty. As gratitude for her journey, Mērija was sacked from her job at the museum and incessantly viewed with suspicion. Why did a young and educated woman from an intellectual family return to the USSR from the West? How could she go on living here when her apartment was full of strangers and she was forced to work at a factory? Evidence for the paradoxes of the new life can be found in the diaries of Mērija’s mother, which vividly reveal the history of her family and the country.
A documentary, 80 min, premiere: 4 May 2018
Script writer and director: Kristīne Želve
Cinematographer: Andrejs Rudzāts
production designer: Ieva Stūre
Make-up artist: Vivita Jansone
Sound designer: Aleksandrs Vaicahovskis
Composer: Juris Vaivods
Editor: Gunta Ikere
Actors: Daiga Kažociņa, Marīna Janaus
Producer: Elvita Ruka
VIVAT! is a new, development-oriented production company, that has worked actively since 2016. The company is based on 15 years of experience of the founder, producer and screenwriter Elvita Ruka who has produced almost 20 documentaries. Elvita is also the author of seven books (travelling diaries) and countless other publications. VIVAT! team is united by their openness to the world and the belief that films and books can change the world for the better.
Created and done by: Production company Vivat! / National Film Centre of Latvia