The Sign Painter
Dir. Viesturs Kairišs | 90 min
Narrative, Virtual Screening
Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania
Latvian with English Subtitles
A tragicomic drama about a young artist battered by conflicting allegiances as a succession of brutal regimes assaults the provincial backwater where he lives and works.
Ansis falls for a Zisla, the Jewish daughter of a wealthy merchant (and budding Communist), but is eventually married a Latvian Christian. His relationship with both women becomes increasingly complicated and dangerous as the Nazis close in.
Ansis may be naïve, but he’s got a simple world-weary wisdom to him too—throughout the turmoil and horror, he channels a deep well of resilience, which proves necessary to withstand the systemic and institutional inhumanity ahead.