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Homo@lv

Examining the unexpected repercussions of the first gay pride march in Riga, Latvia, "Homo@lv" offers the daunting spectacle of bigotry in action and a detailed lesson in realpolitik.

Cast:
With: Maris Sants, Linda Freimane, Peter Tatchell, Scot Lively, Ken Hutchinson, Gabriel Strautins, Liga Dimitere. (Latvian, English dialogue)

Examining the unexpected repercussions of the first gay pride march in Riga, Latvia, “Homo@lv” offers the daunting spectacle of bigotry in action and a detailed lesson in realpolitik. The celebratory 2005 parade triggered a huge, unforeseen backlash at the grassroots level, and helmer Kaspars Goba captures skinheads and ordinary citizens alike hurling hate-fueled epithets, excrement and holy water at the rainbow-clad marchers. The antigay groundswell quickly gained momentum, adopting the name “No Pride,” thus granting its members a negatively defined sense of purpose soon exploited by right-wing politicos. Pic reps a strong entry for gay fests and docu-friendly cable.

The escalating homophobic counterdemonstrations cause a split in the beleaguered gay movement: The original planners of the parade explain the need to pull back (many interviewed gay Latvians preferring quiet anonymity to confrontational politics) while a new “Mozaiks” coalition, carrying on the struggle, allies itself with LGBT groups from all over Europe. But this visible international support incites provincial paranoia and church-fueled fears of a takeover by the decadent West, a terror best pictorialized by a shot of cross-clutching woman lying down in the road to block the “infidels.”

Homo@lv

Latvia

Production: An Elm Media production. (International sales: Elm Media, Riga, Latvia.) Produced by Ieva Ubele. Directed, writted by Kaspars Goba.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Goba, Margeris Eglitis, Inese Apse, Elga Dudareva, Lelde Goba; editors, Gatis Belogrudovs, Visvaldis Zarakovskis. Reviewed at NewFest, New York, July 23, 2011. (Also in Berlin Film Festival -- Panorama Dokumente.) Running time: 70 MIN.

With: With: Maris Sants, Linda Freimane, Peter Tatchell, Scot Lively, Ken Hutchinson, Gabriel Strautins, Liga Dimitere. (Latvian, English dialogue)

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