Latvian film to be showcased among Cannes Classics

Take note – story published 6 years ago

Rolands Kalniņš' 1967 classic film Četri balti krekli (Four White Shirts) will be showcased at the Cannes Festival this year in the Cannes Classics program, reported LSM's Latvian-language service. 

The Latvian auteur's film, which was initially suppressed by Soviet censorship, will appear at the festival alongside classics by Hitchcock, Kubrick, and Bergman.

"Rolands Kalniņš' Four White Shirts is a work which was unacceptable to Soviet censorship because of its innovation, irony and non-conformism. Film theoreticians are fascinated by this film's spirit likeness to the avant-garde tendencies of the 1960s, to the French New Wave which resonated behind the Iron Curtain, in Eastern Europe.

"In a way, the fact that Rolands Kalniņš' film is included in the classics program of the world's most important cinema festival testifies to the worldwide acceptance of Latvia's New Wave," said Dita Rietuma, film critic and the head of Latvia's National Film Center. 

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Four White Shirts was initially shelved for its content and first appeared on screen only in 1986.

More than fifty years after it was shot, the wheels of historic justice are turning as the film will appear before the world on the 96th birthday of Rolands Kalniņš, who'll be attending the screening in person. 

The scenario was based on Gunārs Priede's play Trīspadsmitā. The film stars Uldis Pūcītis, Līga Liepiņa, Dina Kuple, Pauls Butkēvičs and others. 

The film score was written at the heyday of important composer Imants Kalniņš with lyrics by poet Māris Čaklais; generations of Latvians know the songs from this film by heart. 

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