Documentary
TIME ZONE –PRISON
Script, director
Arta Biseniece
Production Company
Kaupo Filma
Last spring our production crew started working at a documentary "Time Zone – Prison". Financing for beginning was allotted by Soros Documentary Film Foundation in New York. The basic idea of the project was to get acquainted as well as to get the audience acquainted with the prisoners of Juvenile Detention Centre in the town of Cesis, with their world perception, attitude towards themselves and the outer world, to understand if one is born to be a criminal or becomes one because of certain circumstances. In order to understand these people better we offered them a possibility to participate in the making of our film as well as to shoot their own film on Hi-8 video camera. About 10 people took part in the process, we chose 5 of them to be the protagonists of out film.

Quite a time has passed since shooting of the film. The dramatic concept of the film has changed since then. The initial idea of the film was based on the material shot by the convicts themselves as it appeared to be surprising, unique, dynamic and, mainly, totally different from our film both visually and thematically.

Now a new concept, offered by time itself, has appeared. When we shot these youngsters they were adolescents still. Now they have become grown-ups. Better or worse changes have happened to all of them. Having further communication with the protagonists of the film I understood that I had forgotten how rapidly life and perceptions change in their age! And now we are in an unique situation as all our heroes have been filmed as children. The film was not finished then. But now, continuing shooting and getting acquainted with the "old-new" heroes once again it is possible to make this story much more richer and interesting thus bringing us even closer to our ultimate goal – to understand if these people are or if they are not hopeless criminals?
Also episodes shot by the teenagers themselves have acquired totally another connotation – as if we were watching an old photography album and saw these people the way they will be never again.
We know what they were like, we have punished them. What are these people like now?

Our crew spent in Cesis 3 months obtaining 3 hours of material shot on film and 7 more shot by the prisoners on video. The Juvenile Detention Centre of Cesis is a point of reference both to us who were making the film as well as to the former and present prisoners. We have also planned to shape the narration of the film like that – by giving them a chance to compare – to compare themselves with themselves.

Our film is not about everyday people- our protagonists have done evil. Two of them have even taken other people’s lives away. And it is not possible to forget the time spent in prison. I want neither to blame nor excuse anyone. I want to give them a possibility to tell about themselves leaving the possibility to judge to you.

The further process of work: we have planned to find, within the limits of possibility, all our protagonists. To find out what are the thoughts like they are living with today, what has changed, what are they thinking of themselves now, what has changed and, finally, how they evaluate themselves in past and today.
About us | News! | Organisations | Films | Location | Cinematographers guide to Latvia | On screen | Filmmakers | Home

Materials published in this web site are subjects to copyright. No copying or
publishing permitted without written authorisation from authors of this material.
Information provider:
KAUPO MFILMA. Information provider is responsible for the contents of published materials.
Design and sequence © Gilde film studio, 1998