Media Room

Family Instinct

Screenings

Fri, Apr 29 10:45 PM
Cumberland 3

Not Available

Sat, Apr 30 5:30 PM
Cumberland 3

Not Available

Tue, May 3 12:00 PM
Isabel Bader Theatre

Not Available


58 minutes | Latvia  | Latvian  | North American Premiere | Rating: 14A


Zanda is a single mother in rural Latvia, living in squalor while brother Valdis, also father to her children, serves time in prison. The horrifying taboo of incest is just the tip of the iceberg in this bold observational portrait. Andris Gauja presents, with shocking intensity and uncomfortable closeness, a dismal existence that’s difficult to look at, yet stirring with emotional resonance. Beyond the bleak brutality, the heart of the film is the community of misfits and alcoholics, of which Zanda is a pillar of responsibility, a tough-as-nails drinking buddy and an object of affection. Stealing a chicken to trade for the night’s alcohol, senseless bloody fights or slow dancing shirtless to American ballads relieve the pressures of the cold, hard life, but the promise of Valdis’s return creates an ever-present tension. Infused with dark irony and comedic absurdity, Gauja’s hardcore documentary realism is eye-opening and deeply haunting. - Lynne Crocker


Media Coverage

Director(s)
Andris Gauja

Producer(s)
Madara Melberga

Cinematographer(s)
Aleksandrs Grebnevs

Editor(s)
Tambet Tasuja
Andris Gauja

Composer(s)
Girts Koknevics
Ingus Bauscenieks
Andris Gauja