The Honorary Consulate of Latvia in New York together with Latvia’s Mission to the United Nations is pleased to present special preview screenings of the movie "Defenders of Riga" ("Rîgas sargi") in March 2008.
"Defenders of Riga" dramatizes the events of November 11, 1919 – Laèplçsis Day - a crucial date in the battle for Latvian independence. "Defenders of Riga" is a historical drama based on the events of November 1919, when in the aftermath of WWI, a part of the defeated German army still based in the newly independent Republic of Latvia, regrouped under the self-serving German General von der Golz. The rogue general, aided by Russian Colonel Bermont in initially masking the true identity of the aggressors from the Allies, ordered the renegade army of about 50,000 to attack Riga. His plan was to take over two of the diminutive Baltic States, Latvia and Estonia, and create a new Germanic state under his rule. Though vastly outnumbered, the Latvian army together with many non-military volunteers totaling some 11,000 men, miraculously managed to defend Riga by pushing back and defeat the Germans.
Released in November 2007, the film is not only the most ambitious feature-length production in the history of Latvian cinema, but also the highest grossing box office film to be released in Latvia. A cinematic experience not to be missed.
Saturday March 29, 2008: 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Pioneer Theater, 155 East 3rd Street (between Avenues A and B) - New York, New York.
Ticket prices: $15; children under 15 years free.
Please note that due to the popularity of this film, a second showing has been added on March 29 at 2:00 p.m. If you have RSVP'd for the 11:00 a.m. show, please plan to come to the 11:00 a.m. show (not the 2:00 one).
How to get there:
Subways and buses:
- F or V train to Lower East Side / Second Avenue. Exit toward 1st Avenue. Walk north (away from Houston) to 3rd street, then east just past Avenue A to 155 East 3rd.
- 9 or 21 bus to Houston Street and Avenue A. Walk north to 3rd Street. Turn east and go a few doors down to 155 East 3rd.
- 14A bus to 3rd street and Avenue A.
The 8 and 15 buses also come relatively close, as do these trains: 6 (Bleecker Street station), B and D (Grand Street), JMZ (Delancey / Essex), and L (1st Ave).
For further details and parking garage locations please see:
Monday March 17, 2008: By invitation exclusive showing.
Directors Guild Theater, 110 West 57th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenue, New York.
Pre-screening reception: 6:30 pm. Screening commences: 7:00 pm.
The film’s director Aigars Grauba will introduce the screening.
Recent reviews of Defenders of Riga:
Dita Rietuma, Latvian newspaper "Diena"
"Titanic has been defeated! With a record number of viewers (139,442), Rîgas sargi has become the most-watched Latvian film of all time. 2007 was a unique year for the Latvian movie-exhibition business. For the first time since the early 1990s, when attendance records were first compiled, a Latvian film has become the most-watched film in Latvia. Rîgas sargi, with 139,442 viewers, has beaten the record set in 1997 by the film Titanic. In so doing, Rîgas sargi has proven the national cinema’s potential for addressing a large audience."
Arno Jundze, Latvian newspaper "Latvijas Neatkarîgâ Rîta Avîze"
"A beautiful saga that features a conditional interpretation of history (after all, the film isn’t a history book), an unequivocally clear ideological setup (freedom, independence, individual responsibility), and the striking of a patriotic chord, utilizing even a seemingly banal technique: narration. But it works! While watching Rîgas sargi, three films came to mind: the galactic war saga Independence Day, James Cameron’s Titanic, and the Babe series. The producers of Rîgas sargi have not tried to reinvent the bicycle. The film is naïve and heartfelt, almost like a fairytale, and features a catchy musical motive, which evokes Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On. “Rîgas sargi recalls a truism: it’s not a deadly sin to be liked by audiences. This is a film for the people."
For more information please contact the Honorary Consulate of Latvia in New York:
Mr. Daris G. Delins, Honorary Consul
Tel:1-646-230-0590, FAX: 1-646-230-0591
Home page: www.latvia-newyork.org