When the Germans retreated from Latvia in 1944, they took with them 700 boxes of art works and ancient manuscripts from the nation’s museums. They also took with them Merija Grinberga, who volunteered to keep her eye on the treasures until they could be returned home. This would end up costing her one tension-filled confrontation after another first with the Nazis, then with Soviet occupation forces in Riga. After successfully shepherding the materials back to Latvia, her reward was to be fired from her museum job. But it has been thanks to Grinberga that many of Latvia’s museums aren’t empty today. Kristine Zelve’s remarkable documentary about a remarkable woman includes a first hearing of diaries Grinberga kept while fending off the bureaucracies of two occupying powers.
U.S. Premiere Screening
Screening date & time: Saturday, October 20, 8:15 pm
Q&A following screening with the film’s director, Kristīne Želve.
Original title: Merijas celojums
Director: Kristīne Želve
Runtime: 82 min
Language: Latvian with English subtitles
Latvia - 2018
About The Director:
Kristīne Želve - Film director, TV host, writer and journalist, studied at the Faculty of Theatre of the Latvian Academy of Music, in 1996 graduated from the Academy of Culture of Latvia, the first course of film directing tutored by the outstanding documentary filmmaker Ansis Epners. In the beginning of 1990s she has participated at several festivals of video art, worked at the Film Forum Arsenāls, film magazine Kino Raksti and the culture magazine Forums, for 10 years she has been hosting the TV show 100g kultūras at the Latvian Television, wrote a book of stories The Girl Who Cut My Hair (2011). Directed several documentary and short feature films, in 2012 finished her documentary Fedya about the Latvian-born Finnish film director Teuvo Tulio, also compiled a selection of writings about him, Fedja. Teodors. Tulio (2013).