Latgalian documentary “Time. People. Language.” to premiere

The Latgalian documentary “Time. People. Language”, which examines the relationship between various Latvian political regimes and the Latgalian language, will premiere online on April 27 at 19:00, according to a Latgale Regional Television broadcast on April 26.

It's a symbolic date, as it falls on the day of the First Latgale Congress when Latgalians chose to unite with the other Latvian regions (according to the Julian calendar still used in the Russian Empire at the time), and is also dedicated to the 175th anniversary of Latgalian writer Andryvs Jūrdžs' birthday.

“As in the 40s, let's say, shove the Latgalian spelling, language, rights somewhere under a rock. Act like it doesn't exist! That's the goal – to show how it really happened,” said the film's producer and director Arnis Slobožaņins.

The film covers the era from 1920-1960, and while works have been written about this period, the producers promise to reveal previously unknown information. It explores attitudes toward Latgalian needs during the Constitutional Convention, democratic times, Kārlis Ulmanis' authoritarian regime and Soviet and Nazi occupation.

Laiki. Cylvāki. Volūda. (Time. People. Language.) from Peter Ragauss on Vimeo.

Although filming began last month, the idea was created by Pīters Aloizs Ragaušs two years ago. He was born in Michigan in the US, but his family's roots can be traced back to Latgale. It wasn't the first project for the production group, but apparently it presented the biggest challenge. The film's creators hope the issues raised in the film will be further studied by historians.

“I would like to urge people to wait till the main part of the film, the most interesting and most saturated part, the story about the Ulmanis period,” said Slobožaņins.

The film will have both Latvian and English subtitles available and can be viewed on the "Latgolys Producentu Grupa" production group's Facebook page and YouTube channel.

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