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The Last Front - Defenders of Riga - Blu-ray

The Last Front - Defenders of Riga - Blu-ray

Lettland 2007 - with Janis Reinis, Elita Klavina, Girts Krumins, Romualds Ancans, Girts Kesteris ...

Movie info

Original title:Rigas sargi
Genre:War movie, Drama
Direction:Aigars Grauba
Sales launch:25.03.2014
Production country:Lettland 2007
Running time:Approx. 119 min.
Rated:Age 16+
Number of discs:1
Languages:German, Latvian (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
Subtitles:Deutsch, Englisch
Picture format:16:9 (2.35:1) 1080p 25/AVC
Label:Pandastorm Pictures
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Amazon Link : The Last Front - Defenders of Riga - Blu-ray

Content: For five years Martin (Janis Reinis) has fought for Latvian independence in the First World War. The goal seems to have been achieved and so Martin returns to Riga, hoping to pick up with the love of his life, Elza (Elita Klavina), where he left off years ago just before the planned wedding. But Elza is dismissive and convinced that Martin doesn't really love her, since his whole passion belongs to the fight for freedom in Latvia. The young soldier has little chance to convince his sweetheart otherwise. For the German General von der Goltz has not accepted the end of the war and does not want to give up Latvia. With the help of the Russian officer Bermondt (Grits Krumnis), the general wants to implement a war ruse by which the Iron Division sides with the Russian Western Army in order to take Riga. And so it comes to a decisive battle in November 1919, with Martin and the other men of the resistance seemingly hopelessly outgunned by the overwhelming enemy...

The Last Front - Defenders of Riga has quickly become the most successful film of all time in Latvia. No wonder, really, as the fight for the country's independence is told in an extremely visually stunning way and, above all, with a particularly large portion of patriotism and pathos. What has promoted the success of the war film in Latvia could, however, be seen as a point of criticism in other countries. For this hymn to the heroism of the freedom fighters leads to a very one-dimensional character drawing, whereby the figure of the Russian officer Bermondt in particular is almost made into a figure of fun, while Martin is the radiant, introverted hero. Here the film simply lacks edges and it is difficult to build a real bond with the characters in the face of such a simple-minded character drawing.

Also the inevitable love story does not necessarily contribute to the success of the film. The fact that Elza, even in the face of the greatest dangers, still sulks like a little girl because she hasn't heard from Martin in so long, simply takes away from the romance's initially quite present fire in the long run. But even if the movie has to fight its way through clichés and dramaturgical ballast, the end result is absolutely worth seeing. Because the visual realization alone can convince all along the line. This applies to the sets as well as the uniforms, the equipment and the effects. But also good cuts, through which game scenes are linked with archive footage, underline the very good impression that the visual language leaves.

And as soon as it comes to the battle for Riga, the tension also takes on very captivating proportions. Even if the shaky hand-held camera is a bit distracting, the viewer is drawn into the action very well and even if the outcome of the battle should be known to most viewers, you still root for the brave resistance fighters until the end. The Last Front - Defenders of Riga may not be perfect, but what director Aigars Grauba and his team have put together here for a relatively low budget is definitely worth watching. If you can overlook the usual clichés and the somewhat thickly applied pathos, especially towards the end, and appreciate convincing war dramas, you should give this film a chance. Worth seeing!

Picture + Sound: The picture features some noticeably excessive contrast, making the action seem a little too bright at times. The image sharpness also suffers a little, but can still convince on the whole. Especially in the outdoor scenes, the visuals leave a very positive overall impression. The sound convinces with some powerful and very vividly implemented surround moments, which provide especially in the last third of the film for a decent utilization of the multi-channel area. Good!

Extras: As a bonus, there is only the trailer for the film.

Conclusion:The Last Front - Defenders of Riga is a very lavishly produced war film that has become the most successful film of all time in Latvia. Although the dramaturgy with the obligatory love story is built quite cliché and the staging does not exactly spare pathos, the struggle of the resistance movement for Riga is yet overall exciting enough implemented to recommend the film to such viewers who are interested in the genre!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


  • The Last Front - Defenders of Riga - Blu-ray
  • The Last Front - Defenders of Riga - Blu-ray
  • The Last Front - Defenders of Riga - Blu-ray
  • The Last Front - Defenders of Riga - Blu-ray
  • The Last Front - Defenders of Riga - Blu-ray
  • The Last Front - Defenders of Riga - Blu-ray

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