Juliet as an image of love and victim of mass-culture. Juliet without Romeo. A tragicomic report, where director tries to reveal the portrait of humanity passion and reverses of love.
This is a confession in film. I have dedicated it to all the cameramen whom I had the honor of working with, and whose one eye was dry and the other one - in tears. Every single shot out of 400 shots this film consists of is a true document. Altogether, they form an imaginative weave of a dramatic plot, unique philosophy, personal world perception, and certainly, visual culture. All the rest - words, music, noises, silence, all having their own voice - have grown together with the images dwelling in this film. A person's inner life, personality, and the eternal problems - love, birth, death, and destiny - are what have always attracted me as a documentary filmmaker... And I have always doubted if we, documentary filmmakers, have the right to expose other people's life? I was doubtful, still I went on filming. "The Last Judgment" " 1987. A story from the cell of death. Repentance of a person who has been sentenced to death for murder. An old dilemma, dating back to the times of the Bible - to execute or to mercy? "The Restricted Area" - 1975, The destiny of a teenage boy serving his time at the juvenile delinquent prison. The family and social roots of the drama. "Once There Were Seven Simeons" — 1989. The famous family jazz group from Irkutsk. Their wild attempt to break away from the USSR to the West by hijacking a plane. And - the tragic end, "The Last Celebration" -1972-1980. An optimistic drama of a man who has devoted himself to people. Death as continuation of life. "The Song of Solomon" - 1989. A childbirth. The torturing entrance of a human child into God's world. The more elevated meaning of being and earthly delights of a man and a woman. "And they became one flesh, and they were not ashamed." "Flashback" - born from -the short film, Ten Minutes Older, of 1978. Together with the cameraman Juris Podnieks, we shot this film in one take at the Puppet Theatre. For ten minutes, uninterruptedly, we were looking into the face of a little boy on the third row... And in the half-dark of the theatre hall we were watching the depths of the human soul as reflected in this tremulous face. In 1999,1 decided to return to our boy. What had happened to this tremulous soul in real life, with real, not fairy-tale, good and evil? Together with cameraman Victor Griberman, I started making a new film, "Twenty Years Older," having no suspicion that I am sending off a boomerang. I have never supported the philosophy that a man can come to know himself only at,a fatal margin - like facing death. And then, I found myself in a similar situation. The door to the new film was opened to me by the White Angel; the Black Angel was hiding behind it. My wife came down with a terminal disease, and I myself had to face a heart operation. I was on the verge of giving up everything. But the challenge of documentary filmmaking was stronger than me. I turned the camera to myself, and looked back... Flashback! I looked back at my films, at my life which, as it turned out, it was possible to prolong if the open heart was touched. I looked back at the sad destiny of my wife who had faded away in front of my eyes... at my tiny hometown Ludza in Latvia -a small town where I was born, where everything had began. My mom was a dentist, and my dad was a photographer whose life-dream was to make a film... It was a free flight: Riga-Moscow-New York-Jerusalem... I delved into the past like in a dream. And it was not important what had happened before or later. Everything went on inside me...
Madonna with Child. 20th Century
In the forbidden zone, at the same time a penal colony and a bridewell, children and youngsters, who have made themselves punishable by law because of one or more crimes are being re-educated. Herz Frank analyses the contradictions between the pretentions of such an institute and the actual situations and results as they present themselves inside the working camp.
The Last Judgement
Relentlessly, Herz Frank confronts the spectator with the moral problems involved in the death penalty. In Augstaka Tiesa he enters into a dialogue with Valerij Dolgov, a man who has been sentenced to death for having committed a double murder. He does not give an inexhaustible enumeration of motives that could have led up to the killing. Frank sketches a picture of Dolgov's past in which a loveless youth, an exceptionally strong desire for leadership, a very ambitious nature and his involvement in the black market have given shape to his character. Frank is not so much interested in the murder-case on its own as he is in the human being that, as a consequence, finds itself in an inhuman situation. The photography unscrupulously fixes Dolgov's position: the camera hardly ever lets go of the prisoner who is trying to find out the reason for his act. The deeply human doubts, emotions and utterances of the man under sentence of death in their turn grasp the viewers. Herz Frank and Valerij Dolgov force us, in the first place, to decide on what stand to take in the discussion on capital punishment and, in the second place, to reflect on the meaning of the notions of being a human and humanity.
By Ten Minutes Older
This documentary film without words observes the faces of children watching a theatre play.
In 2004, Larissa Trembovler, a philosophy professor and a mother of four, leaves her husband and marries Yigal Amir – the assassin of Yitzhak Rabin. Three years later she gives birth to their son. This unique story of life, death and love is be told by the veteran filmmaker Herz Frank.