Latvian Ambassador Kārlis Eihenbaums' introduction of "The Year Before the War" at EU Film Festival 2021 in Canada

04.11.2021. 20:30
  • Join in Centenary celebrations together with the Latvian Foreign Service

Latvian Ambassador Kārlis Eihenbaums'  introduction of "The Year Before the War" at EUFF 2021 in Canada.

Dear Friends!

I am glad that you’ll have the chance to watch the Latvian film, The Year Before the War, as part of this year’s European Film Festival all around Canada.

I am particularly happy that you’ll watch it on the day when we’re celebrating Latvia’s 103rd birthday.

Directed by Dāvis Sīmanis, it is a history-based fiction set during 1913, just before the Great War, which changed the world forever.

It is a breath-taking but unforgiving odyssey, a beautifully stylised fairy-tale — with all-too-real forces lurking at the boundaries.

Our main hero, Pēteris a.k.a. Hans, is faced with anarchists, communists, terrorists, nationalists, and more. All this driving our ordinary young Latvian man to commit a series of life-changing acts that alter the course of history.

This film lends a rich understanding of not only of Europe’s history, but reverence to the revolutionary form. This film is epic, rich in skill and imagination.

And as the Latvia-born philosopher Isaiah Berlin wrote: ‘This story has several versions – all of them true.’ This film is also, a version.

Thank you for joining, and enjoy!

The European Union Film Festival in Canada runs from November 12 to 28, 2021. The festival program is available for online viewing across Canada. "The Year Before the War" will be available on 18 and 19 November 2021. To watch the film, visit the Festival website:

The screening is the part of the Latvian Centenary public diplomacy program and it coincides with the 103th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia.