Festival theme – Baltic tribes



Another churning event preceding the Ethno-Festival „SVIESTS 2018”, will be the open-air screening of the just released documental drama “The Last Pagans of Europe” on 8th June at 10 p.m. in Valmiermuižas Manor Park. Directed by the Ābeles brothers, this movie is taking us back to the 13th century, the time when the Baltic tribes living in this region encountered crusadors who were trying to introduce Christianity. The movie includes rich animation as well as historical staging. The movie trailer was created by Kaspars Bārbals, head of Studio “Lauska”.

The movie “The Last Pagans of Europe” („Baltic tribes”) reflect on the cruel endeavour to introduce Christianity to the pagan tribes who were living in the Latvian teritory in the 13th century. The movie is based on chronicles and historic records. It tells the story of the merchant Lars form Gothland (actor Kaspars Aniņš), who is traveling the teritories of the Curonians, Letgalians, Selonians, Semigalians, Prussians, Yotvingians, Galindians, Aukštaititians and Sudovians, who in that time had reached the peak of their development. This documental drama raises the question how much we know about our own past, our ancestors and ourselves. It resolves some myths about the Balts being mere peasants and shows their courage and readiness to fight back without romanticising the harsh living conditions of that time.

The accompanying scientific text, the historical reconstructions and stageings, authentic dresses, jewellery, adjusted environment as well as computer animation and 3D graphics will provide a glimpse into the lives of the last pagans of Europe. To show in a historically correct manner the life-style of the Balts, their beliefs and what made them strong, the producers involved historians, reconstructors, experimental archaeologists and specialists in Baltic mythology. The documental drama “The Last Pagans of Europe” is part of the Programme of the National Cinema Centre “Latvian Movies for the Centenary of Latvia”.

Entrance is free. After the screening the audience will meet the creative team for a question and answer session.