Documentary examines the role of writers in the return of independence

Take note – story published 3 years and 11 months ago

LTV's series of short documentary films on the history of Latvia has another episode ready for you, complete with English-language subtitles.

This time the starting year is 1988 and the location is the plenary session of the Writers' Union. The event is outlined as an important milestone on the road towards the restoration of Latvia's independence, with writers providing a intellectual framework that helped growing popular opinion find its voice.

The meeting saw various writers, artists and other intellectuals voicing heretical opinions, with the discussion reaching its peak when in an extraordinary move, journalist and academic Mavriks Vulfsons outright declared that Latvia was an occupied country and spoke openly about the illegality of the notorious Molotov-Ribbentrop pact's secret protocols.

In the ensuing years, Vilfsons' contribution has sometimes been overlooked, perhaps because of his long record as a dedicated Communist before his U-turn,  but the archive footage presented in the documentary shows how extraordinary his speech was.  

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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