Double Portrait of a Coin
Documentary, Length: 100', Format: DigiBeta

Using previously unpublished footage shot by amateurs in the era of 8mm cameras, the film reveals unseen thesaurus of cultural history. For the first time – Latvian film folklore on screen! Film is about the simple human life – love, hopes and dreams – of our parents, the generation that lived in the Soviet Latvia when a double-moral reigned in society.

Romualds Pipars
Talivaldis Margevics
Anna Apsite
Romualds Pipars

Maija Selecka
Romualds Pipars
Romualds Pipars
Baiba Urbane
Production Company
Gilde film studio
Amatu iela 5, LV 1941, Riga, Latvia
Mobile: +371 29508441
Supported by
National Film Centre of Latvia
and Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia
The material for the film is a message in a bottle thrown on the coast of the today's life.
Such a bottle got to our studio a couple of months ago. A lady brought a 8mm reel of her family chronicles filmed by her late husband about twenty years ago. 'Could you restore the footage and write it on a VHS?', she asked. It seemed that it would be nothing exciting in the old family footage, shot by a non-professional. Yet when we opened the box we saw the Life, half-forgotten, but still very real and authentic.
Our intention is to make a film about the simple human life of the generations who were destined to live in the Soviet Latvia, which existed from 1949 till 1991. That was the time when Latvia was a part of the Soviet Union, the state where a double-moral reigned: the official moral and the life moral of simple people. The latter was very similar to the life moral of people in free and democratic world. People loved, hoped, dreamt and built the life of their own.
The fibre of the film will be made of amateur materials shot by 8mm cameras. This was the most popular format among non-professionals in the Soviet Union, equivalent to the modern home video. Thus through the eyes of those people we will see how they worked, spent their holidays, travelled in Latvia and in other republics of the big Soviet Union, we will see their joys and hobbies, their family traditions, babies making their first steps, young people with bunches of flowers on their last school day, and what is especially interesting we will see the official holidays and celebrations from the inside, i.e. what simple people were doing when theoretically they had to be on demonstrations. And we will see that the generation was happy in it own way, though it was divided from the other world by the iron cage.
What a pride is seen in the eyes of a boy who is holding in his hands the first portable radio Spidola produced in Latvia!
And how carefully the first personal automobile (personal!), an old Moskvitch is being cleaned, wiped and sponged. Only a few people could buy a car in the 50s-70s. This episode crushes the myth that Soviet people were devoid of proprietor's feeling.
However the amateur footage will not be enough to convey the atmosphere of those years. It should always be remembered that every coin has two sides. Thus the 8mm materials will be set off against pieces from the official newsreels of that time. The difference will be obvious.
The film is going to be a of hymn to human life which is above political regimes and ideologies.
Production Company

Film Studio Gilde
Amatu iela 5, LV 1941, Riga, Latvia
Mobile: +371 29508441
e-mail: - Home

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Design and sequence © Gilde film studio, 1998