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Blizzard of Souls Review

Latvia’s biggest grosser in the last 30 years is the harrowing autobiographical account of a 17-year-old farm boy thrust into the trenches of World War I......The imagery is epic and dreamlike at the same time, the battleground covered in mist, grain stubble, snow. It is a space in which no direction exists, as Arturs discovers in his first frightening mission stalking Germans through a foggy wood of dead tree stumps.The battles in the snow are particularly visceral, ending in frozen bodies stacked like wood in a woodpile while Arturs wanders around them in a daze. It conveys a strong sense of how disorienting combat is to the warriors, who are robbed of their expectations of heroism and glory and left with little more than the will to hang on when all strength and hope is gone.This dimension is emphasized in Celmins’ exceptionally atmospheric cinematography and Lolita Ritmanis’ poignantly respectful score.

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