Laila Pakalniņa: Retrospective

The titles of her films say it all: the shoe, the ferry, silence, stones, silence, the bus, the oak, the mail. Simple nouns that encompass the stuff of life. The cinema of Laila Pakalniņa takes these ordinary objects and concepts as the starting point for a true cinema of exploration, which we celebrate here with a collaborative retrospective organised with Black Canvas FCC in Mexico City.

"In the late 1990s, filmmaker Laila Pakalniņa (b. 1962) hardly noticed that she had started a new epoch in Latvian documentary cinema – she simply graduated from a film institute, made three documentaries in the row, working exactly the way she wanted, and what she produced - namely her “Pakalniņa Trilogy” - was immediately marked by FIPRESCI award at the Cannes Film Festival (1996). This was the beginning of a new path, for her and for Latvian cinema in general.

From that moment on, walking along the same road, Pakalniņa has become the most widely known contemporary film director from Latvia abroad, having made 5 feature films and more than 20 documentaries. Everything by her roadside has remained as it has always been, as in the film Hello Horse!– the sun rises and sets, autumn fog is replaced by spring frosts, some mileposts vanish, new ones appear, a white dog scampers somewhere and these simple fragments of life cannot be captured by words." (Black Canvas FCC)

In cooperation with

  • black canvas

Selected films is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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