ESCAPING RIGA by Davis Simanis
One of those screenings where everything worked out as it should. Young Latvian director Davis Simanis (looking at you from above on this page) travels to Copenhagen, where he has never been before. He walks from the hotel through the city together with the one, who has posted this text, they have a glass of wine in one of the autumn dressed squares in the centre of the city. The director – and I – are a bit worried that there will be nobody at the screening of ”Escaping Riga”, a film in b/w, shot on super 8, about two local heroes, who both left the Latvian capital: the passionate and wild artist Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein and Isaiah Berlin, philosopher, historian and essayist. Not an obvious attraction for a festival audience, one should think…
But we were wrong. More than 100 were in the cinema to a screening that was introduced by Karsten Fledelius, Danish university professor, a man who seems to know all about the Balkan countries, who is a tour guide to Turkey and other countries, and who in an elegant way gave the audience basic knowledge about the two in the film. After that a fine projection quality, good reactions from the audience and a warm welcome to Davis Simanis at the Q&A that he managed so well with a competent festival moderator next to him.
At the end Fledelius asked a question to Simanis – you have a personal intro in the film, having worked on the film for such a long time, who are you closest to? Simanis answered that he had always aimed to be like Eisenstein, involved and controversial, but “I always end up as Berlin”, the reflecting observer. Bravo, thank you cph:dox for bringing the film, that has one more screening at the festival, see link below.