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Blizzard of Souls(Dvēseļu putenis)

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Latvia · 2019
2h 4m
Director Dzintars Dreibergs
Starring Oto Brantevics, Vilis Daudziņš, Ivars Krasts, Gatis Gāga
Genre Drama, History, War

Bare witness to the brutality and horror of the First World War, as seen through the eyes of an innocent 17-year-old farm boy turned soldier. After witnessing his mother's execution, Arturs joins one of Latvia's first national battalions with his father. Soon, his naive search for glory is derailed by the grim realities of war.

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What are critics saying?


Screen Daily by

It’s an aggressively stirring account of a nation painfully enduring catastrophic conflict as prelude to independence.


Variety by Alissa Simon

With its muscular direction by former documentarian Dzintars Dreibergs, atmospheric cinematography and careful attention to period detail, this account of a troop of Latvian Riflemen fighting first for the Russian Imperial Army against invading German forces and then for an independent Latvia should appeal to WWI buffs and fans of Sam Mendes’ “1917.”

63 by Carlos Aguilar

Dreibergs excels with his measured but immersive set pieces—like one that unravels in a snowy landscape at night, best exemplifying his directorial brawn.


The Guardian by Ellen E Jones

Brantevics convincingly portrays Arturs’ four-year transformation from a callow youth to a war-weary one, but as a national coming-of-age story, The Rifleman never quite outgrows its innocent, uncritical patriotism.


The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

“Blizzard” is almost immaculately shot and edited, but its good-taste approach to warfare, along with its treacly music score by Lolita Ritmanis, underscores what seems its main reason for being: a relentless “Go, Latvia!” agenda — which has extended to its marketing here.


Los Angeles Times by Robert Abele

Even with a thinly drawn lead, Blizzard of Souls maintains an undeniably raw power as a small country’s coming-of-age story, told through a bright-eyed wannabe hero and forged in a maelstrom of death and disillusionment.

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