Capitalism at Crossroad Street
Documentary, 103
HD, colour, stereo

4th of May, 2013

Director of Editing
Romualds Pipars
Ivars Makstnieks
& Distributor

Midsummer Fest at Crossroad Street


Crossroad Street is a little street in the outskirts of Riga, stretching mere 800 metres. Despite being enclosed by a busy city, Crossroad Street has kind of rural charm to it. The neighbours have known each other for a long time, and the relationships between them vary from friendship to eternal quarrelling. One way or the other the peculiar inhabitants of the street always end up in the most unexpected situations that no other dramatist than life itself could invent.

More than twenty years ago author-scriptwriter Tâlivaldis Margçvičs and director-cinematographer Ivars Seleckis first started to document the quirky everyday happenings on Crossroad Street. Their observations resulted in The Crossroad Street (1988) – a heartfelt portrayal of common people in times of great change – at the brink of USSR’s collapse. The film gained recognition both at national and international level, travelling as far as Japan and USA, receiving main prize at IDFA and FELIX award as the best European documentary.

In 1999 Margçvičs and Seleckis returned to their protagonists to see how the life in Crossroad Street changed after Latvia’s regained independence. Keeping up to the stylistics of the first film – the unbiased observation of both the comical and tragic events of street inhabitants’ lives – they managed to create another explicit cross-section of the era – New Times at Crossroad Street.

Now another ten years have passed since that time and Latvia – as well as Europe and the whole world – has experienced some more dramatic changes. Crossroad Street community has proven to be a genuine mirror of the society, reflecting various sociological processes in moving and entertaining way. We believe that this is an apt time for meeting with the crossroaders again – to see if and how the economic crisis has influenced the living habits and relationships between the neighbours on Crossroad Street. The project is being developed under the title Capitalism at Crossroad Street.

Firstly, the film would look at twists and turns of the lives of already known and beloved protagonists – legendary gravestone merchant Aldis, determined single mother Daiga, poor crippled Toliks and others. Nevertheless, necessary flashbacks to the previous two films would be made to introduce their pasts so Capitalism at Crossroad Street could be watched as an independent piece as well.

The newcomers on Crossroad Street – a bachelor with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a wealthy customs officer and an old man whose sudden inheritance – a house on Crossroad Street have not brought him happiness – have caused quite a buzz as well.

The everyday life of the street is still full of humorous coincidences. For example, air-castle builder Aldis has started to build a real castle for himself. Some of the neighbours try to fight the crisis by starting an illegal alcohol trade. Others have turned to natural economy, swapping with the products from their household plots.

 Capitalism at Crossroad Street will maintain the style of previous films – the balance between tragic and comical, the benevolent author’s narration, the unbiased observation of events. Together with The Crossroad Street and New Times at Crossroad Street this film will constitute a trilogy – a unique documentation of the lives of common people in the span of almost a quarter century.

Supported by:


Eiropas Dokumentâlâ kino simpoziji
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