Stanislavs Tokalov: Everything Will Be Alright

At the Latvian National Film Awards ceremony the other day two awards were given to “Everything Will Be Alright” by Stanislav Tokalov. The film-to-be was pitched at the Baltic Sea Docs 2021 with the working title “Stranded” and described as “An attempt to look at the life of a half-million Baltic Russian community in 2020, through the stories of 3 generations of women in the director’s family.” It was awarded as the Best Long Documentary and having Best Editing (Stefan Stabenow).

I had an email conversation with the producer Guntis Trekteris in April 2023, when the film was finished, I saw the film twice and ended up with these words – not a review but comments, edited email version:

“It is a good film, actually a very good film, well composed and the protagonists are fine with grandma and mother as the ones you engage in. And Raul of course, poor guy… he disappears towards the end, maybe that could have been explained, did they divorce? Maybe he could have been a bit more in the foreground, maybe a foreign audience would like to know, why he ended up in Latvia – USSR. Anyway, there is a rhythm, there are the returning new year celebrations, Raul’s difficulty to get the table into the room where they are to eat, Irina visiting Nina again and again, the teeth that disappear, the May 9 celebrations etc. There is a lot of fine and warm scenes.

International festivals – I am sure you try but it is difficult I guess as no-one wants anything connected to Russia as things stand. Has that changed I ask now – beginning of 2024?

So this was a good experience – watching the film twice, as I have done in many cases when in doubt: I guess at the first screening, I was irritated of the mother’s constant crying and frustration, some times hysterical, but I think Stanislavs has done a fine job to make the audience understand why.” 

Greetings to you and the director

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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