Mellow Mud

(Es esmu šeit)
Latvia 2016. Dir: Renārs Vimba. 106 min. DCP

Winner of a Crystal Bear in the youth section of the Berlin Film Festial, the feature debut of Latvian writer-director Renārs Vimba is an intimate and absorbing portrait of adolescent angst that impresses with its naturalistic visual grammar and a riveting performance by gifted first-timer Elina Vaska. After the death of their father, disaffected 17-year-old Raya (Vaska) and her little brother are placed in the custody of their paternal grandmother Olga, who lives in a small, tucked-away cottage in rural Latvia. When Raya returns home to find Olga dead, she decides to bury the body, keep hush-hush about it, and pursue a tenuous trail that may lead to her estranged mother in London. “A resonant entry in the hard-knock-life tradition epitomized by The 400 Blows ... Will be appreciated by arthouse fans of all ages” (Alissa Simon, Hollywood Reporter). In Latvian with English subtitles.