Documentary examines failure of the "national Communists"

Latvian Television's series of short historical documentary films 'The Keys' continues with a very interesting account of how internal struggles within the Communist Party in occupied Latvia were to have far-reaching consequences

This time the year under scrutiny is 1959 and the fate of of a so-called progressive or "national Communist" wing of the single party that was allowed to exist. The national Communists were centered on a young and charismatic politician, Eduards Berklavs, a rising star of the Party.

Unsurprsingly, as the documentary demonstrates, hopes of a more liberal and flexible attitude from Moscow proved short-lived as Soviet orthodoxy was reinforced, with the visit to Rīga of Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev proving decisive in deciding Berklavs' fate. Or so it seemed: for it might be argued that many years later Berklavs had the final word.

According to LTV "The Keys" series tells of the most important or "key" events, personalities and turning points in the history of the Latvian state from 1918 to the present. The purpose is to reveal each selected event from an unusual point of view, as if "unlocking the door" to lesser known and therefore particularly intriguing facts. 

"Such an exploratory approach, bypassing the usual stereotypes of presenting history, will allow viewers to perceive what is known to others and to better understand what has happened in the context of today's experience," says LTV.

Throughout the year, Latvian history will be told in 'mixed order' - events will not be sequenced year by year, but viewed in the exact month in which they occurred

The show is made by VFS Films, a long-time partner of Latvian Television and it is hosted by Mārtiņš Ķibilds, a distinguished cultural journalist who sadly passed away late last year.

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