After losing his mother and his home, Arturs finds some consolation in joining the army. However, war is nothing like he imagined.


Dzintars Dreibergs


Boris Frumin (as Boriss Frumins), Aleksandrs Grins (novel)
9 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Oto Brantevics Oto Brantevics ... Arturs Vanags
Greta Trusina Greta Trusina ... Marta
Martins Vilsons ... Vanags
Rezija Kalnina ... Mother
Raimonds Celms Raimonds Celms ... Edgars Vanags
Jekabs Reinis ... Mikelsons
Gatis Gaga Gatis Gaga ... Konrads
Renars Zeltins Renars Zeltins ... Spilva
Vilis Daudzins Vilis Daudzins ... Col. Sala
Ieva Florence ... Mirdza
Natalija Buha Natalija Buha ... Ola
Evita Goze Evita Goze ... Lola
Ziedonis Lochmelis Ziedonis Lochmelis ... Apsitis
Sandis Pecis Sandis Pecis ... Melcs
Martins Liepa Martins Liepa ... Spelmanis


The love story of the sixteen-year-old Arturs gets interrupted by the First World War. After losing his mother and his home, he finds some consolation in joining the army, because this is the first time the Russian Empire permits national battalions. However, war is nothing like Arturs imagined - no glory, no fairness. It is brutal and painful. Arturs is now completely alone as the war takes the lives of his father and brother. Also, no progress is made in the promised quick resolution of the war and timely return home. Within the notion that only he alone cares about returning home and that his homeland is just a playground for other nations, Arturs finds strength for the final battle and eventually returns home to start everything from scratch, just like his newly born country. Written by National Film Centre of Latvia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A sixteen-year-old Arturs enlists to fight in WWI with dreams of becoming a hero, but after surviving the brutalities of trench warfare and the loss of his family, he wonders if his efforts in battle were futile and if hope is only to be found in rebuilding a family and a home as Latvia itself is born from the atrocities of war.


Drama | History | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Official submission of Latvia for the 'Best International Feature Film' category of the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021. See more »

User Reviews

9 November 2019 | by latvija-11423See all my reviews

Fantastic film. Tough, but it's our history. In my opinion, every citizen of Latvia should see this film. Indeed, one of the best Latvian films I've ever seen. Yes, some battles, especially the Isle of Death and the Battle of Cesis, could have been more depicted, but the scenes of the Christmas fights were something wow.

The only thing I didn't like was the filming style - I don't know if it was done by purpose, but the camera was very often shaking , and at some moments I wasn't able to enjoy the film by 100%. Especially in fighting scenes.

But it's a great movie all over. 9/10

Thank you.

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Release Date:

8 November 2019 (Latvia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rifleman See more »

Filming Locations:

Adazi, Latvia


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Kultfilma See more »
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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)


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