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Date Location Tickets

Miami Premiere

Sign Painter

Directed by Viesturs Kairiss

Latvia-Czech Republic-Lithuania | 109 minutes | 2020

Latvian, German, Russian, Yiddish with English subtitles

Ansis can’t help but obey orders. As a sign painter in a small Latvian town in the early 1940s, even his color palette is not of his choosing, based as it is on orders from the Nazis. When not out painting the town, he spends time frolicking with Zisele, a wealthy merchant’s feisty Jewish daughter. Though he purports to be in love, he cannot ask for her hand in marriage due to her religion. As Nazism rises throughout Europe, tensions mount in the town. Zisele, already in a dangerous position due to antisemitism, decides to join the Communist party, which some neighbors consider an overt threat to the regime. Meanwhile, Ansis meets Naiga, the charming, yet capricious new woman in town. Before realizing it, he finds himself caught up in a love triangle set against the backdrop of the Second World War. With its stylish, vertiginous cinematography and first-rate production design, The Sign Painter is an illuminating and incisive portrait of what Eastern Europeans endured throughout the 20th century as they lived under multiple governments’ jurisdiction.

Director Photo
Viesturs Kairiss graduated from the Latvian Academy of Culture as a theatre and film director and immediately afterwards started working as a resident stage director at The New Riga Theatre. He has received international recognition for his work on the stage and screen, including the Spīdola Award for Unique Achievements, the Jury Prize at the Raindance Film Festival, and twice winning Best Film at Latvia’s National Festival.
Foreign Title Pilsata pi upis
Director Viesturs Kairiss
Countries of Production Latvia-Czech Republic-Lithuania
Year of Presentation 2020
Language(s) Latvian, German, Russian, Yiddish with English subtitles
Premiere Status Miami Premiere
Runtime 109 minutes
Principal Cast Davis Suharevskis, Brigita Cmuntová, Agnese Cirule

Jayne Shapiro & Rosalind Spodek

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