Latvian Film Night: The Baltic Freedom Way

Latvia and Estonia experienced the 1980s similarly. However, Latvians were often one step ahead. For example, they were the first to react to the policy of Glasnost. In 1986, when the Chernobyl nuclear plant exploded in Ukraine, mass protests were organised in Latvia against the planned Daugavpils hydroelectric power plant. The Hirvepark meeting in Tallinn on 23 August 1987 followed the example and bravery of a similar meeting in Latvia on 14 June the same year. Two years later, led by Estonia, the three Baltic States began preparing the Baltic Way. In less than a month, the three countries managed to organise a human chain stretching 600 km from Tallinn to Vilnius, with nearly two million participants. What were thechallenges faced by Latvians in creating the Baltic Way? What choices did they have to make, and what joy did they derive from the process? The Baltic Freedom Way tells this story.  

The Baltic Freedom Way  
Documentary, 2014 (92 min)  
Director: Askolds Saulītis
Language: Latvian, with English subtitles

This is a film about the events that set the Baltic States on a historic path after proclaiming independence in the early 20th century. The first attempts at closer ties came in the 1920s and 1930s, but the countries were unable to avoid losing their independence again during WWII. The greatest example of cooperation between the Baltic States was the joint demonstration against the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on 23 August 1989 – the Baltic Way, in which almosttwo million people joined hands and created a human chain from Tallinn via Riga to Vilnius.This was a huge step towards the re-establishment of independence during the collapse of the USSR a year later. The Baltic Way was the catalyst for the process that led to the reality in which we now live: the great social, economic and political transitions of the 1990s and reintegration into the cultural, economic and political milieu of Europe. The Baltic Wayrepresented cooperation between three sister-states, forging ahead, side by side, in joy and sorrow.  

The event will be held in English.

The event is free of charge.  

Photo: Uldis Briedis

The event is being supported by the Embassy of Latvia in Estonia.

Register your attendance here 

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