Online documentary: One of Us

LSM announces the return of its English-subtitled series of documentary films entitled Latvian Code and selected in an annual contest held by Latvian Public Television (LTV). Latvian Code films reflect the extraordinary lives occurring in Latvia.

The first film to be featured is Matīss Spaile's One of Us. It follows Latvia-born athletes - wrestler Anastasija Grigorjeva, veteran gymnast Igors Vihrovs, and up-and-coming figure skater Deniss Vasiļjevs. Being of non-Latvian ethnicity, they are sometimes treated as 'others' by native Latvians, who welcome them into their ranks only when they've shown astonishing results.

Despite the negativity, they still choose to compete under the Latvian flag.

"I want to show these athletes as good examples in all the things they do. In this way I want to show the Latvian audience that, even though these athletes sometimes speak Russian in their daily lives (which poses no problem to me), they are doing better and more patriotic things than most of us do. I wanted to unite people with this film, not divide them," says the director.

"The reason we chose these athletes is because two of them have, for several times, refused citizenship offers [coming from other countries].

"Many consider them to be 'one of us' only when they perform well at important competitions, and I think it's totally off the point and wrong," he said in an interview to LSM.

Mūsējie. Latvia, 26 min, 2017. Director: Matīss Spaile. Scenario, production: Dāvids Ernštreits.

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