Blizzard of Souls breaks Latvian box-office records

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In the five weeks since its release on 8 November, Dzintars Dreibergs’ war drama Blizzard of Souls has become the most watched film in Latvia since the 1991 restoration of Latvian independence. The news was first reported by national film portals Uz kino and Kinopunkts.

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Blizzard of Souls has now been watched by 207,892 viewers in total. Dreibergs’ feature breaks the record previously established in 2007 by another independence-era epic, namely Aigars Grauba’s Defenders of Riga. That film revolved around the liberators of interwar Latvia in 1919 and was the most expensive domestic production at the time. Moreover, Cinevilla’s backlot was purposely built to host the shooting of Grauba’s film.

The results achieved by Blizzard of Souls also make it the most successful film financed under the special centenary funding programme known as Latvia 100. Based on Aleksandrs Grins’ novel of the same name and adapted by Boris Frumin (Oh Lucy!, Blind Dates [+]) for the big screen, the film opens with the love story of sixteen-year-old Arturs (newcomer Oto Brantevics), interrupted by the outbreak of WWI. After losing his mother and his home, he finds some consolation in joining the army. However, Arturs will experience the brutality of war and will lose his father and brother as well. Within the notion that his country is just a playground for other nations, Arturs finds strength for the final battle and eventually returns home to start everything from scratch, just like his newly born country. Blizzard of Souls was produced by the director himself and Inga Praņevska for Riga-based outfit Kultfilma and backed by the National Film Centre, the country’s main audiovisual agency.

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