Online documentary: We're close by

37 years ago, when in then-Soviet Latvia oak trees were being felled by explosives, poet Imants Ziedonis gathered a group of like-minded people and set out to free the great old trees from the overgrowth.

Over the course of twenty years they made 198 expeditions, managing to reach every corner of Latvia’s national territory.

The group called itself the Liberators of the Great Trees – the Dags.

In the film we meet some of their well-known ranks. There’s writers Māra Zālīte and diplomat Anna Žīgure, animator Roza Stiebre, scientist Andris Buiķis, painter Vitolds Kucins, all of whom assess the time when the dream of a free Latvian state seemed unrealistically distant.

At the time, at Ziedonis’ behest, each tree was given a great man’s name. In the film we meet a family rediscovering the tree with its stone-engraved name Ingmārs at the base, following the lead of a 35-year-old photograph of their father.

Utilizing footage from Andris Slapiņš and Zigurds Vidiņš’ many years’ worth of filmed material, the documentary looks at the group’s activity in various parts of Latvia connected with cultural-historical characters – early literary prodigy Aklais Indriķis (Blind Henry), father of the Latvian folk-verse collectors Krišjānis Barons, stereochemist Pauls Valdens, composer Ernests Vīgners, writer Jānis Jaunsudrabiņš.

And simultaneously discover what goes on there today as the historic landscapes are compared to modern-day perspectives.

This is the fourth of LSM's inaugural English-subtitled series featuring the five winners of Latvian Public Television’s (LTV) documentary film contest 'Latvian Code'.

Watch the award-winning documentary film "We're close by" online now at LSM.lv.

We’re close by (Mēstepatās).

Documentary film.

Studija 2, 2013.

Produced and directed by Zigurds Vidiņš.

Original score composed by Mārtiņš Brauns.

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