PRODUCTION: Shooting Begins on Acclaimed Latvian Book Adaptation Soviet Milk

    Rūta Kronberga on the set of Soviet Milk by Ināra Kolmane Rūta Kronberga on the set of Soviet Milk by Ināra Kolmane photographer: Jānis Deinats

    RIGA: Ināra Kolmane’s third feature Soviet Milk / Mātes piens began shooting its first sequence on 15 September 2020.

    The film is based on Latvian writer Nora Ikstena’s 2015 novel, which looks at three generations of women after the end of WWII, and which has already been translated into 20 languages (including English, Russian, Lithuanian). The first shooting period will run until the beginning of October in Riga and the district of Limbaži.

    The main events of Soviet Milk take place in the 1970s and 1980s. A young and promising doctor comes into conflict with the totalitarian Soviet regime and loses everything – her career, love for life and maternal instinct, denying her new-born daughter mother’s milk. While growing up, her daughter needs to find her own standing and place in life, living together with a mother who is disappointed in life.

    “While reading the book I had the feeling that I wished to turn it into a film. I was very much drawn to the atmosphere of the Soviet era, which reminded me of my own childhood and youth. But the main aspect that caught my eye was the representation of the relationship between a human being and the official power, how this power breaks the life of the main character – an outstanding scientist and gynaecologist. Another theme important to me is the relationship between mother and daughter, which weaves through the film like a red thread connecting three generations,” Kolmane told FNE.

    The film is intended as an international coproduction, but there aren’t any confirmed partners yet. Apart from the Latvian production team, the film has a Lithuanian cameraman Rolandas Leonavičius and production designer Algirdas Garbačiauskas.

    Ināra Kolmane’s previous film Bille (2018), produced by Film Studio Deviņi (Latvia), Masterfilm (Czech Republic), Magic Lab (Czech Republic) and Studija 2 (Lithuania), got wide international recognition at various festivals, received The Best National Film Award, and the broadcasting rights were sold to HBO Europe.      

    Soviet Milk is produced by Jānis Juhņēvičs and Marta Romanova-Jēkabsone at Film Studio Deviņi (Latvia). The project is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia with 658,400 EUR. The estimated budget is 1,121,984 EUR. The film has also received Creative Europe MEDIA funding for its development.

    The expected release date is autumn of 2022.

    Production information:

    Actress Maija Doveika (on the left) and the director Ināra Kolmane on the set of Soviet Milk, photographer: Jānis DeinatsFilm Studio Deviņi (Latvia)

    Director: Ināra Kolmane
    Screenwriter: Arvis Kolmanis
    DoP: Rolandas Leonavičius
    Production Designer: Algirdas Garbačiauskas
    Costume designer: Evija Džonsone
    Make-up artist: Gunda Zvirbule
    Cast: Maija Doveika, Rūta Kronberga, Indra Briķe, Juris Lisners, Elīna Vāne
    Producers: Jānis Juhņēvičs, Marta Romanova-Jēkabsone
    Executive Producer: Ieva Majore