“Looking under the surface, go deep, feel the other person!” Jana Egle makes everyone think about their “pit”

Jana Egle: “I am very pleased that the idea and purpose of the film coincides with what I had when writing stories – looking under the surface, going deep, feeling the other person.”

Publicity (League Evaldson) photo

Vita Krauja, “Latvijas Avīze”, JSC “Latvijas Mediji”

Director Dace Pūce’s feature film debut feature Bedre, which has already gained international recognition and major awards at several prestigious international film festivals: Black Nights (Estonia), Nordische Filmtage Lübeck (Germany, Grand Prix) has started life in Latvian cinemas since September 16. ”), XVII International Film Festival“ Baltic Debut ”(Russia,“ Grand Prix ”in the nomination“ Best Film ”), Festival of the Best Color Correction Artists in Moscow (Russia), etc. we will meet immediately after the premiere in Latvia.


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The film tells the story of ten-year-old Marcus, who has to adapt to a new life in the countryside with a grandson. After the incident with the neighbor girl Emilija, the villagers start looking at the boy with intolerance and suspicion, until by chance Markus finds refuge and friendship with the mysterious loner Jūrnieks, who lives on the edge of the forest.

The film touches on a number of current issues – children who grow up without parents and face emotional abuse, mutual tolerance, openness to others – and demonstrates the ability of art to soothe and save lives. The film is a very good mix between the arthouse, the festival and commercial cinema – the creative team received this comment in Tallinn from the jury of the Black Nights Festival, when the “Bed in” project was awarded the “Grand Prix” in the “Work in Progress” category. “

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Jana, since the film is based on the motives of your stories “Pit”, “Gaismas” and “Go to the Sea”, did you have any surprises in their twists and turns?

J. Egle: To be honest – no. I didn’t take part in writing the screenplay, but at the time of its creation we were in contact with (film directors) Daci, she sometimes called, sent letters, sometimes we discussed how to twist stories. I hope that these talks helped to create the variants of the scenario.

In fact, I already knew the story of the film, I just hadn’t seen the whole work as a whole. Yes, the title “Sailor” appears in the titles of the film, but it is nothing, because many of them call this story, even though the real name is “Go to the sea”.

All three stories have been successfully twisted from the very beginning of the film. The fact that Albert, the father of alcoholic Robert in the film, is the brother of Marcus Solveig’s brother, is a successful march of the director, how to bring together two separate stories “Gaismas” and “Pitre”. The accident at the end of the film does not happen in my works either, but it is a good culmination of the intertwining of the two stories.

The film is, of course, an independent work of art and should be seen as such by those viewers who have not read your works. So I ask, did you as a spectator of the film thrill yourself, touch your heart and mind?

Even very, very much! With beautifully played relationships, real emotions in the actors. I am also very pleased that the idea and purpose of the film coincides with what I had when writing stories – that is, looking under the surface, going deep, feeling the other person. Dace, creating her work of art, has continued and expanded the much-studied theme of loneliness, exclusion – only with her own means of cinematic expression.

After the film, there was a pleasantly Nordic aftertaste, because before watching it, it seemed to me that the tape would be faster, richer in external effects, but in very tasteful proportions there was a rapid action with episodes, “Fixed”. Everything is so proportionate and beautiful! Immediately after the premiere, I told Dace that I thought the film would be more thriller, more like Hollywood movies. However, it successfully stays on the border, where interest does not relax, but also banality does not fade.

I’m not a big filmmaker, but I like to watch European films. I really liked the operator’s work with interesting plans, I liked to enjoy their “picture”. The music of Valters Pūce is so appealing! It speaks to me in exactly the language I was expecting from the film. Great acting, and what to hide there for me as a Liepaja woman at heart that so many actors are from Liepaja. As I mentioned, interesting scenario turns, story twists. People are already writing to me that they want to read these stories from the book “In the Light”, which has long been out of stock…

Damir Onackis in the film “Pit” gets into the image of Marcus.

Publicity (Jānis Deinats) photo

Already the title of the film reveals its many layers: the top – a pit in the forest, where Marcus, I think, deservedly – by paying for the injustice of the neighboring girl Emilia – seduces her. And then the other, deeper layers of thought gradually unfold.

Because every “hero” of the film has his own “pit”. For example, for a sailor who lives a different and different life from others, it is a pit of rejection. For Marcus’ son-in-law Solveig, played by Dace Evers, it is a pit of indifference and a certain arrogance in himself – when the desperate Sandra searches for her missing little Emily, she, the choir leader, refuses that the unfortunate woman has mixed the kindergarten with the culture house. And the choirs in one peace continue to sing for the land of lemons, where it blooms…

Because the missing child does not affect them personally. Marcus has found himself in the biggest pit of his life so far – and hopefully there will be no deeper ones – because he has lost both parents in one way or another, he has found himself in an unfamiliar and also a bit hostile, repulsive environment. It is a deep pit in his destiny.

The film is about the vulnerability of a small human child – and not only – to injustice – Emily pulls out Markus’ drawings, but for Emilia’s mother Sandra, what she has not seen with her own eyes does not exist, she thinks how to repay the boy, perhaps even irreversibly damaging his fate…

If you have noticed, the heroine of actress Sigita Pļaviņa, who, studying Markus’ drawings, says – no, no aggression is manifested in them, in fact, that child has talent! There is too little courage in society to defend and protect, even when we see that injustice is happening, and we need help. Those who go about their imaginary truth as if with a flag are much bolder. There is often a lack of understanding in society of how deeply a seemingly insignificant injustice can hurt a person who is already in a difficult situation, be it a child or an adult, but the little one is left with much more lasting consequences.

When it comes to acting, I think one of the brightest is Indra Burkovska Sailor. Hearing Indra Burkovska’s voice, at first I didn’t understand where the hook was. One of the great places in the film – Marcus sees the Sailor ‘s secret and accuses him of lying to me. But the Sailor answers – everyone has his own secrets… And then Marcus determines that he would not want to be a girl either…

This phrase by Marcus – I wouldn’t want to be a girl either – was charming and right in the context. And, I agree, Indra Burkovska as a Sailor is really great! Maybe a little confused makeup, but the play, the character of the image, all the expressions that depend on the actress’ professionalism, are just perfect!

Although the story “Go to the Sea” in the film is very transformed, the Sailor’s soul and essence are the same. Indra has learned to tell it exactly the way I imagined my Sailor could have told it. The sailor’s philosophical attitude towards life and events, teasing here and there… So alive and organic!

But there will be those who will say that there are far fewer people with gender identity problems than there are waves in society.

I think the wave is important because it draws attention. At one time, we used to make fun of cetaceans and bluethroats, but they were the women who won the right to vote and many other opportunities that are self-evident today. However, some members of the minority do not want to be enlightened, participate in pride marches or other public expressions. But those who go and subject themselves to ridicule or even attacks will fight for their rights and their security, which will then be enjoyed by all, including those who are silent. As long as there is no equality, the wave of attention must be large, attractive. The higher the noise, the greater the chance of achieving something! Everything will subside as things get better.

And now for other acting works…

In the very first shots, Marcus’ little accent might have disturbed me a bit, but I thought about it during the film – but why not? We also speak very differently in life – there are Latgalians, there are non-Latvians who speak Latvian. In addition, Marcus’ mother in the film is Russian. Damir Onackis portrays Marcus simply amazingly! How deeply and truly he reveals the lonely, incomprehensible boy, his inner struggles and experiences!

I also really liked Egon Dombrovskis’ performance in the image of the alcoholic Robert. Not an absolute villain, but a man who is obviously confused in life. His experience, seeing the consequences of his own violence, is so alive. A very strong moment in the film. Like the last shots in which Robert leaves the scene. At that moment, a determined person is revealed. Egons Dombrovskis does not play this feeling of stagnation, but survives in front of the viewer’s eyes.

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It is difficult to imagine greater mischief than leaving the scene of an accident in this way. But Marcus, who in a moment rides his bike on the same road, rescues a woman who has been surrounded by intriguing nets. And then comes another episode with a bright ending. Isn’t the film’s finale like a whipped cream cake with raisins on top?

I wouldn’t say that. Marcus saves Sandra, but leaves there and leaves. Leave one. There are no hugs or forgiveness. She now has a lot to deal with on her own. Like Markus. On the other hand, the stained glass, the glorious work of art started by Jūrnieks, should not be left unfinished, because it is like a light-soaked symbol of the good and human, to which the whole meaning of the film is directed.

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