All films included in the collection are available online for the public throughout Latvia from August 29 free of charge and without time limit.
In the history of Latvian cinema, Dzidra Ritenberg is a unique personality – a bright and temperamental actress who turned to directing at the peak of her creative life and created important films, most often in the center of which are emotionally filled female characters, hardened by difficult destinies. . Dzidra Ritenberg is also the most respected Latvian film actress internationally – for her leading role in the feature film by Ukrainian filmmakers “Malva” (1956), she was awarded the Venice Film Festival’s Volpi Cup as the best actress of the year, thus placing talented Latvians among world-class film stars.
Dzidra Ritenberga, who was born in Kurzeme, near Dundaga, chooses the path of an actress early, and her first film role coincides with the revival of domestic cinema in the post-war years – the new director Varis Krumins invites her to join the acting ensemble. in her diploma short film Causes and Consequences (1956), and the spectacular wife of the Minister Dzidra Ritenbergi stands out in the gallery of images with sparkling vitality.
Soon, Varis Krumins entrusts the actress with the lead role in the film Atbalss (1959), an adaptation of Janis Jaunsudrabinsh’s novel Aya, while Dzidra Ritenberg’s Aya is at the same time boldly masterful, restrainedly tragic and full of contradictions. Once again, the actress collaborated with director Vari Kruminu in the film “Heirs of the War Road” (1971), playing a young and energetic collective farm chairman, in contrast to the veteran played by Karlis Sebra.
It is significant that the strength of the actress’s personality prompted other directors to give her similar roles – in the image system of the Soviet era, the collective farm chairman is a well-known symbol of energetic activity, the ability to solve problems and act decisively. leading a large team, but also experiencing emotional upheaval; such a role is played by Dzidra Ritenbergas Elma in the film The Door is Open for You (1984), directed by Peteras Krylov.
Among the early film roles of Dzidra Ritenberg, the commemorative collection also highlights the almost amusing image of Inspector Velta Rose in the film “Your Happiness” (1960) directed by Ada Neretniece, which was elegantly described by film critic Daira Abolina (in the afterword to Dzidra Ritenberg’s memoirs “Es atradu”) . laimi, 2021) — “In fact, it is Ritenberg’s charisma that saves this film from the production romance typical of that period.”
The brightest pinnacle of Dzidra Ritenberg’s acting work in the 1970s is the “young grandmother” Mirdza, the mother-in-law of the protagonist of Janis Streich’s classic comedy “Male Draugs – Nesitns Jemin” (1975), and this magnificent character also has a great merit in creating special popularity movie. Along with Janis Streicha, she also played the role of an experienced and stern, but humanely concerned doctor in the drama Remember or Forget (1981), Dzidra Ritenberga also played a character from the environment of medical workers in director Andras Rozenberg’s debut feature film Reflection. in water (1977). On the other hand, another energetic and scandalous mother-in-law is Mikulans Elsa in the film Dunduriņš (1974) directed by Boleslav Ruža about family problems with Girta Jakovleva as the former son-in-law. law.
However, along with other roles in the cinema of the mid-70s, Dzidra Ritenberga was already ripe for a new step in her creative activity, studying theater directing and making her debut as a film director with the feature film This Dangerous Balcony Door (1976). An important theme, tense dramaturgy and an ensemble of young actors ensure the success of the debut, and Ritenberg confidently continues his creative path, paying special attention to the images of strong but complex women; The director’s companion in several films is the beautiful actress Astrid Kairis.
Their first joint work is the two-part film “Three Minutes of Flight”, which includes the path of the heroine Kairishi from childhood on a farm, through military experience to summing up her life’s work. A melodramatic story about a woman’s right to personal happiness is the feature film “Evening Variation” (1980), but ten years later, Dzidra Ritenberg shoots a two-part feature film “Waltz for Life” (1990), which becomes her last directorial work and the last collaboration with Astrid Kairis, but at the same time a great starting point for the young actress Baiba Brokas, who receives the Great Kristaps Award for Best Actress for her film debut.
A separate thematic block in the work of Dzidra Ritenberg, since the director sets himself increasingly serious professional tasks, are suspense films, sometimes with elements of a psychological detective story or criminal intrigue. Rittenberg considered her best directorial work, The Longest Straw (1982), is set in an unsettling atmosphere of post-war gangsterism; A special genre of “foreign detective” is the investigation of a murder in the film “The Last Report” (1986), which takes place in Germany, but the potential of a thriller in a seemingly simple everyday situation is vividly demonstrated by the psychological drama “House without Exit” (1988), where a secret couple of lovers (played by Inar Slutsk) endure a tragic confrontation with Jozs Budraitis) and three escaped prisoners (among them Jirts Kesteris in his first film role).
The 1980s also saw the film Strange Case (1985), where a little girl with nowhere to sleep creates problems and complications in the lives of many adults by unwittingly revealing lies and half-truths.
Dzidra Ritenberg’s jubilee film collection will be available on the Filmas.lv portal from August 29 for an unlimited time, thus adding to the permanently available collection of Latvian cinema history. We thank Dace Busante, Head of the State Film and Photo Archive of the Latvian National Archives, for the response and cooperation; The creation of film collections is also supported by the Center for Cultural Information Systems (KISK), which ensures the technical operation of the portal. The Films.lv portal, which is also an extensive database of the film industry, is created and maintained by the National Film Centre.