Archive of films Old Jewish Cemetery / The Old Jewish Cemetery

Netherlands / Latvia
2014, 20 min

Section: Imagina
Year: 2015

A tram crisscrosses through the streets, kids play on the grass, the cemetery is devoid of markers. This unostentatious film, concisely capturing the mood of an intriguing site, ushers the viewer into a world ruled over by the stark atemporality of a place of burial from before the Second World War.


Riga. Tourists and local drunks wander through a sleepy afternoon, children play on the grass, and a tram lazily crisscrosses through everything that happens. Sergei Loznitsa, one of the most precise and sensitive observers of the Eastern European region, explores the locus of a defunct Jewish cemetery, observing the people and the somewhat torpid street activity, and capturing the contemporary life of a place where burials were still conducted during the Second World War. Factual commentary is suppressed in favor of contemplating the changes to a seemingly uninteresting place whose atmosphere has been softened by the everyday.

Viktor Palák

About the director

Sergei Loznitsa

Sergei Loznitsa (b. 1964, Baranovichi, Belarus) is a graduate of the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) in Moscow. His documentary Portrait (2002) was awarded a Special Jury Mention at KVIFF 2003. Artel (2006) took Best Documentary under 30 Minutes at the Karlovy Vary IFF in 2007. KVIFF audiences also saw his features My Joy (2010) and In the Fog (2012), which was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes, as well as the documentary Maidan (2014) and the experimental short film Letter (2013).


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About the film

Black & white, DCP

Section: Imagina
Director: Sergei Loznitsa
Dir. of Photography: Serhiy Stefan Stetsenko
Editor: Sergei Loznitsa, Danielius Kokanauskis
Producer: Maria Choustova-Baker, Sergei Loznitsa, Antra Gaile
Production: Atoms & Void, Mistrus Media


Sergei Loznitsa

Antra Gaile



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