Documentary tells tale of failed Daugavpils hydroelectric project

LTV's series of short historical documentaries continues under the banner of 'The Keys' with a look at a grand civil engineering project of the late Soviet period: the Daugavpils hydroelectric power (HES) station.

Planned as the fifth HES generating power from the flow of the Daugava, it never made it off the drawing board and into reality, and the documentary traces why that was the case. There is also a fascinating brief history of the other power plants along the course of the Daugava. 

Protests against construction added to the weight of public opinion pushing for the end of rule from Moscow, even though they were ostensibly more about environmental protection than political ideology. 

The documentary also outlines how one well-written and well-timed newspaper article was to have the last 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.

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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