Paradize 89 (2018) - full transcript

Arriving at her cousins home in a late eighties Latvia rattled by political turmoil and faced with divorce in her own family, nine year old Paula learns that no matter what the future of her country might bring, family values are of greater significance than anything.

Attention! Daugavpils-Riga train
arriving at station 1.

Your bags. Listen to what Eve tells
you. Paula, look at Laura.

- Mom, why isn't dad here to see us off?
- Your father's at work.

Have a nice trip, girls! Be good!

Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic
August 1989.

Watch where you're going, brats!

Don't you understand Latvian?

- Hi.
- Hi.

I'd like to have myself so many signs.

Those aren't signs, they're
medals. Let's go!

- I would like to have so many medals.
- They don't give them to children.

Adults only, who defended
the nation in war.

Why is it called "Fatherland"?
That means the land belongs to the fathers.

So what about mothers?

- Paula!
- That's just what they say.

Mothers must also have their own land.
What about children?

Think if we had our own country,
where there are no adults.

- Good afternoon.
- Good afternoon.

How are you?

Very well!

Don't touch!


- Laura!
- Hello, this is Laura. Who's calling?

Mr. Elephant?

Let's go!

Hello, Comrade Paula.

I hope the trip went well, ma'am.

Mostly yes, but my legs were cramped.

What have you brought?

- Mom got this through a friend at the store.
- Awesome!

She sends her love.

How's my godmother doing?

Everyone's fine.

Linda, come in!

No coffee, it's too late.

Paula, may I?

- Can she?
- She may.


- Hi Aunt Aija. We came from Riga.
- Our cousins are staying for a couple of weeks.

Do the ladies of Riga have to hold
out so long? It's not the capital.

- Paula considered her Russian.
- In Riga most people speak Russian.

Aunt Aija - a Russian!

I'm principally not speaking Russian.

Warm. No, it's not raining.

Of course we eat well.

Ieva is at work.

- Paula, are you really okay?
- Yes mom, it's like paradise here.

Give the phone to dad.

- Are you crying?
- No, no.

- Tell Dad to call me tomorrow after work.
- Alright.


Stupid! You almost broke it.

Okay, bye.

If you clean things up daughter,
you can keep the kitten.

Mommy, you're so good!
Paula and I are not allowed to have a pet.

Nothing is allowed for us.

We are told to put our clothes on
the chair and brush our teeth.

- Can't you keep it down?
- And we must always clean our plates.

During the war, that wagon was
drowned. With the horses.

- And the princess too?
- It's true! Dad told me.

He told me, not you.

When he told me that story,
you weren't even born yet.

You were only two years old then!

I remember seeing mom and dad
riding a merry-go-round in Riga.

We went too. Remember, Paula?

I had to laugh
Almost peed my pants.

- Hello girls.
- Hi.

Does art interest you?

I'm interested.

In that case...
Is this art, in your opinion?


What are you laughing at?

Mother taught us that if anyone seems
suspicious, stay away from them.

He looked like a professional.

Laura, come on!
You know smoking is bad.

- Let's talk about art, Maija.
- Stop it! You're so stupid!

Stop it!

Promise you won't talk about it anymore. Okay?

I'll bet he's abnormal too.

No, he doesn't seem dangerous.

People aren't always what they seem.

Look, he's not normal.

Like all men.

Not my father. He also
plays with us like that sometimes.

Maija, did your parents
fought before the divorce?

At first. After that, they didn't
talk anymore and separated.

- Will your mother marry again?
- No, she's got more important stuff to do.

Ugh! Ugh!

- Come on, the kids are watching!
- The kids are asleep.

Chic living.

I'll take the umbrella.

Maija, are you asleep?

- Where's Linda?
- Sleeping.

Don't just give it to your mom.

Buy food - flour, eggs,
whatever you need

to last a while.

Because everything is changing. Soon there'll
be nothing to buy from stores anymore.

Later, all the stores will be filled with
goods but no one will have any money.

- What have you got there?
- Nothing.

I'm driving to Leningrad.
I'll be back September 1st.

Then we take some pictures
and eat ice cream, okay?

Say hi to Linda for me.

See, exactly the same
tights we have at home!

Another jar of condensed milk for me
and two cans of coffee, my dear Elita.

- Do you have sausages?
- No.

Make room!

- Did you sign?
- Yes, but I don't know...

I still tell Rihard there's going to be
a war. We'll be deported to Siberia.

Stop that talk now!
The Popular Front isn't stupid.

- Girls!
- Paula! Make room!

Call me when sausages come in.

I'd like ten eggs, oatmeal, five
loaves of white bread, five loaves
of black bread.

Flour, barley, bread, sugar,
two packs of macaroni...

and condensed milk with sugar.

- Our cart was stolen!
- Crap!

Pay up!

Hold on!

Stupid idiot!

- Hello, ladies!
- Hi.



Haven't your parents told you
that adults should be respected?


Look at me. I thought
you were a good girl.

Hello, hello.

Uncle militia! Have you
captured the exhibitionist yet?

We'll capture him. I'm sure we will.

In the Soviet Union all
citizens are protected.

Come here, Kitty! Kiss kiss!

Hold on!

Why do you feel like you need
to hide from the militia?

You're not like an exhibitionist.
What have you done?

What the hell did you do?

Promise you won't tell anyone about me.
Otherwise, I'll find you and...

You understand?

I don't speak Russian. Principally.

Promise you won't rat me out.

Promise you won't rat me out.

Promise you won't rat me out.

Take her.
Promise you won't rat me out.

The kitten is yours.
Promise you won't rat me out.

No, she's your kitten.
I'm not going to tell on you.

- I'm a dissident.
- What does that mean?

Dissidents listen to outlawed
music, read banned books.

- What kind of books?
- The Bible.

Lovely pigtails.

- Jonas, Lithuanian.
- Paula, Latvian.

Do you know where Mom put
that beautiful plate?

When is Ieva coming home?

- She's at work.
- Are the secretaries working at night?

- She does secret work for the Popular Front.
- How cool!

Paula, you should have seen how
we ran. Just like the boys!

They turned the corner and we did too.

They ran up the hill and we did too.

Laura and I would have gotten
them, if it wasn't for Maija.

What took you so long?

I was looking at the pantyhose.

- Did dad call?
- No.

- Mom?
- No.

Are you just going to stand
there, while we work?

We went back to the store.

You weren't there.

You were somewhere else.




Maija! Maija!

Aren't you ashamed? I've been looking
for you everywhere, worried...

I don't think they're speaking
to each other anymore.


Mom and Dad. Mother called, not father.

Adults are so stupid!
They ruin everything.


Jump down. I have a good idea.

Just don't tell Laura.

I'm glad my parents aren't
together anymore.

Dad sends money, mom's never
home. Total freedom!


What does it say?

That I will never get married
and have children.

Put your hand down.

Chickening out?

She's grateful for the help.
Her son is also in Afghanistan.

All soldiers from Valmiera,
they feel the same way.

Respecting their comrade's
mother and her prayer.

It's hard to talk about,
because we just got bad news.

Another young man from Valmiera comes
home from Afghanistan in a coffin.

- What?
- Nothing. Children shouldn't see such things.

We go live now to Riga Dome Square.

A protest has been organized against
recruiting Latvian young men in the Soviet army.

Joining hands and vowing
to fight for freedom.

- Can I come to your bed?
- Go to sleep, Laura.

Maija, do you know what a dissident is?

Dissidents are those
who ignore stupid laws.

- They do unlawful, but good things.
- Like what?

Attending secret meetings,
listening to banned music...

- reading banned books.
- Do you have banned books?

- Open the door!
- Get up!


- Do you have any military-aged brothers?
- No, just sisters. And cousins.

Good evening!

- Where's your mother?
- At work.

Igor Janovich?
I recognize your voice.

- Aija Karlovna!
- You remember me!

How many years has it been?

Were you sent from Riga?
News spreads quickly in the countryside.

These days, there are traitors everywhere!

Mothers hide their sons, even
though the homeland needs them.

The TV shows them coming home in coffins.

Draft dodgers are cowards and
weaklings, not men.

Why am I talking about coffins,
when you've just returned?

Believe me, Aija Karlovna,
I'm going to catch all those runts,

and teach them to love their homeland.

- They'll learn honor and discipline.
- Yes, yes.

In our times, Aija Karlovna...

Let's go!

Jonas! Jonas!

- What is it?
- You're not safe here! Quickly!



- Do you want to join the army, dissident?
- No.


Ieva! Ieva!

- Fool!
- Ieva!

I'd love to have hair like that lady.

I got an idea.
Let's buy curling irons.

Don't. Father said that
money is for buying food.

- Igor Janovich!
- Do you know any of these guys?

Paula, he's here again!

We have to find mom.

- She's at work.
- I'm going to look for her.

Laura, brush your teeth
and let's go!

- Good morning.
- And then we'll go buy curling irons.

Bring a swimsuit, baby!

Your father called this morning.

I wrote the number next to the phone.


- Tell your friends and neighbors.
- Maija!

We're gathering at 6:30.

- Take a flyer so you won't forget.
- Thanks.

See you on the twenty-third, okay?

Paula, signatures are being collected
to support Latvian independence.

To break away from the Soviet Union!


Aren't we part of the Soviet Union?

Do you believe we're all
grandchildren of Lenin?

What's your grandfather's name?

- Alfred.
- You see, Alfred.

Smart girl mostly, but you'll
believe anything.

If we win our freedom we won't
have to speak Russian anymore.

Mothers won't have to work two jobs, and
young men won't have to join the army.

We'll start a new life.
A real paradise!

Right now, we can't even hoist
the red-white-red flag.

Did you know that our anthem is
"God protect Latvia", not...

♫ Let Soviet Latvia live forever,
Let it shine bright in the Soviet crown! ♫

Mom's not here. She drove
off to run some errands.

I told you she had work to do.

Let's go sign our names.
We're not little kids anymore!

Maija, we saw the militia
are looking for a dodger.

What are we signing now?


We demand that the Communist Party
abandon its exclusive power.

I have only one thing to say:
We won't stop until Latvia is free.

This is our sacred pledge.

It's time to sleep!


Don't go out alone when that
art lover is hanging around.

We have an emergency situation.
Is that clear?

Yeah, Roger that!


Hello, Aija Karlovna! How
many years has it been?

What do you think, are they
really getting divorced?

Dad sounded happy on the phone today.

I don't know but all the
signs point that way.

We have a great life
here. Do you like us?

Very much.

- What if your mother doesn't come back?
- Stupid! Mom's working!


- Our mother is an agent of the People's Front.
- What?

I'm not supposed to tell.
It's a secret.

Maija, you think this is permanent?

Something that's forever?

Art is eternal, I finish the painting
and it stays that way forever.

- It's better if my parents get divorced.
- Finally, you're making sense!

I have a good idea!
When we turn 18

we'll start living together.
Just the two of us!

Through good and bad,
until death do us part!

Give me a hand!

It's another exhibitionist!

Let's not go to the store today.

We have an emergency situation.

We'll buy curling irons tomorrow.

When Mom comes home from work
tell her we went swimming.

You stayed home because you
have a cold. Understand?

- Are you hurt?
- I'm a little out of it.

Let's go to the clinic and make
sure Maija's skull isn't fractured.

Yeah, just in case.

Girls, be careful!

Kitty! Kitty! Kiss-Kiss!

Kitty! Kitty!

- It's for you and the cat.
- The cat's gone.

Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!

Why are you standing there
like a scarecrow?

- What happened? Should I call the militia?
- No! Everything's fine.

We just have to wait.

Next week. We have to wait.

Tomorrow or the next day.

Maija, dear!

I accidentally ripped the pantyhose.

My word!

Maija, how are you feeling?

Paula dear!

The doctor injected her and there's
nothing wrong with her anymore.

- No fracture.
- Good thing she got her hand in front of her.

Have one, they're paradise apples.

If you don't eat the fruit, you will be
banished from paradise for disobedience.

- What is paradise?
- A place with everything your heart desires.

What about apples in alcohol?


- Let's dress up.
- Okay.

- Promise not to tell anyone!
- I promise! I promise!

Let's pretend we're old ladies.
And our husbands died in the war.

Alright. My husband's name is Emils.

And my husband's name is Maris.

In the quality of its schools, the Soviet
Union is 57th in the world and falling.

I can't stand the Communists.

They let their reign
bring down the country.

What is the point of our homeland,
if there's no freedom?

Paula, I want to go home.

Laura and I are afraid to sleep here.
Let's go to the neighbors. Come on, Laura.


I'll give you sugar to calm you down.

Thank you, Grandpa.

Paula. It's not Alfred!

It is! This is your grandfather Alfred!


And I thought you were a good girl.

Punish, punish, punish!

Mom! Dad! Laura!

Mom! Dad! Laura!

You have such big daughters.

I hope they won't grow up
while I fight for freedom.

It's almost over. Tomorrow
everything will be all right.


- Ieva, what happened?
- Shh! Don't wake up the girls.

- Are you afraid they'll hear me?
- Don't hold out too much hope.

Turn on the light. The switch
is next to the door.

Ieva, when it's over...
Are you and I ...?

There's still much to do. Let's go.

Juris, stop! Elmar!

- Juris, stop it!
- Choose already, either me or him.

The nerve!

- Peeping Tom!
- Maija, it wasn't him.

Mom told us to stay away from him.
Crazy Russian!

Maija, sit down. There's
something I need to tell you.

Look what Aunt Aija gave us.

- The war has started.
- Stupid! Oleg hit him.

Aunt Aija said we'll be
deported to Siberia...

because we signed in support
of Latvian autonomy.

Because of your stupidity someone's going
to die. Get dressed, you fat goat!

Shut up, you're not my mother.

Leave me alone!

Paula, I want to go home.

Hello. Mr. Elephant?
Do you want to talk to Laura?

- If we're sent to Siberia it's your fault.
- Oleg did it!

Dad told me hard times are coming. He said
in simple words that the war has begun.

Laura, let's go buy a curling iron.

- Where's the Bible?
- You must've put it somewhere.


Call your dad and ask for money.
He'll give it to you.

I'll teach you a lesson!

- I'm telling Mom!
- Where is Mom anyway?

Don't be sad, Laura.
I have a great idea!

The coast is clear. Let's go!

Split up!


Rest in peace, my kitty.


Little girl, are you taking care
of my missing friend's son?

- Thank you.
- Your parents should be proud of you.

I called your mother.
If everything is calm...

she'll come to see you next week.

I don't know what I'd do without you.

Ah, Jonas. Forgive the old fool for
thowing the rat poison here.

I forgot we had a cat.

- Do you have a pump?
- Pump?

I think I'm slowly starting
to become a dissident.

I've done so many forbidden
things lately.

Mother would die if anything
happened to me.


When Latvia becomes independent again
you no longer have to hide yourself.

When Maija's mother comes home
I'll tell your parents that.

I'm taking you as my
wife when I grow up.

- Laura, confess.
- I didn't do it.

Aunt Aija's strong enough to work!

- Tell the truth, Laura.
- I didn't do it!

- Aunt Aija! Don't you have a pump?
- Do you see a pump here?

- Isn't it enough that you took my cart?
- I'm sorry.

- Why do you need a pump?
- Just for fun, I'm just...

three, four, five, six,
seven, eight, nine, ten.

Where did you disappear to again?
You thought I wouldn't notice?

Where were you? I told you not
to wander around alone.

- Went to buy pantyhose again?
- Maija, please forgive me.

- I didn't tear them on purpose.
- You took my pantyhose?

- I'll buy you new ones.
- Then you took the Bible with the money.

- Thief! Where were you hiding the Bible?
- It's good that the Bible is gone.

Otherwise, your mother will go to prison
because she has a forbidden book.

Stupid brat! You're just jealous.
Your father drinks everything,

that's why you have nothing!
And your parents are divorcing!


Your mother took it all away.
She went off with a man.

I saw her with a single man...
Liar! My mom is working!

- She's not working!
- Stop it!

I went to the People's Front at
night, but she wasn't there.

Stop, you fools!

Stop it!

I tore the stickers off!

It was an accident.
Honestly, I did it by mistake!

I'm going to the Popular Front
to look for mom. Laura!

It's warm.

No, it's not raining.

Yes, we eat well.


- Ieva is at work.
- Say hi to her for me, and be good.

Okay, we'll be good.

But, mom, me and Laura...
We don't want you to...

Even so. Your father and I, we're adults.

Bye then.

Laura, get your things together,
we're going home.

- There's no one waiting for you there.
- Laura, let's go!

- Ninny!
- Stop! I know what I'm doing.

Besides, you don't have any ticket money.

Champagne bottles won't be accepted.

Don't worry, we'll be home soon.

- Good evening.
- Baby girl, come in.

- Would you take us to Riga?
- I'd love to.

But my car hasn't run for five years.

It's broken down.


Forgive us for the tires.
We didn't do it on purpose.

We found a solution and
we called it the Baltic Way.

The Baltic Way is not a threat.
It's the path chosen by the people.

Brothers and sisters in the east and west

want to declare Hitler and
Stalin's agreement invalid.

The Soviet Union annexed Estonia,
Latvia and Lithuania illegally.

They said mother and the rest of
the crowd went to the Baltic chain.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done, on Earth
as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we
forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For yours is the kingdom, the power,
and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

To every injustice and oppression
there comes an end.

The spirit of freedom is
stronger than slavery.

Sooner or later the truth
of every lie is revealed.

Let's take a closer look at each
other, look each other in the eye.

Unity overcomes all.

The days and years pass. Much
disappears, but it's not forgotten.

The Baltic Way and the Baltic Chain is
the beginning, like a ray of sunshine.

Let us always remember this
even when we're alone and weak.

Let us remember this

when compassion is needed,
to help each other.


waiting for the consequences.
This time they've gone too far.

The future of the Baltic peoples is
in grave danger. People need to know

the abyss nationalist leaders
are pushing them toward.

If they achieve their goal, the
consequences will be catastrophic

and their existence in question.

The Baltic peoples, all Soviet nations
must understand this clearly.

What did the man say?

He said in simple words
that the war has begun.

- What about us now?
- Move! Don't get your nose shot off!

- We're a team now!
- See? Just like the professionals.

Girl! Girl!


Thank you, sweetheart.

Have you gone crazy?
You think you're a hero?

I'm calling the militia now!

I made you sugar water,
to calm you down.

Freedom Street.

Mom, Dad, Laura!

Mom, Dad, Laura!

Maija, don't do it.

Tomorrow we'll put in a new
window, and then we'll paint.

Let's go home! Okay, Paula?

Almost two years later, on August 21, 1991,
Latvia became independent.