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When Humans Turns to Animals

Mona, All Lights Film Magazine, ALFM
Ināra Kolmane’s debut feature film ‘Mona’ attracts film enthusiasts from across the world as it portrays what happens when humans turns to animals.

The film is an interaction of lust, metamorphoses and cinema verité contrasts. ‘Mona’ is a modern and thrilling drama with erotic and fantasy elements. Told in a stunning and powerful visual language the film is saturated with tension, visions, fantasies, change in humans and humans turning into animals. Love here is unorthodox, it is a misunderstanding rather than true feelings, misunderstanding fostered by passion.

Mona is a mysterious nature child living in a rural area where the main industry centre is a slaughterhouse. The uneventful routine of villagers is interrupted by businessman Thomas from the capital city (and completely different world) who arrives at the village for his uncle's funeral and to sell the inherited estate. As soon as Thomas lays his eyes on Mona he finds himself in a dangerous maelstrom of illusions, passion and obsession.

It is a story about a deep but short-lived passion and the ancient mystery and unpredictability of a woman. This story is interwoven with visions revolving around an untraditional love quadrangle and phantasmagoric metamorphosis. It tells about love as a misunderstanding and misunderstandings fostered by desire. It also portrays everything that differs — man and woman, country and city, past and future, life and death. Lastly, it is a story about animals and their slaughterers. Trifling with life and time we do not notice that, actually, the time and life are trifling with us, our destinies, feelings and desires. And in this world of contrasts it is hard to understand whether the actuality is our everyday reality or is it in fact fantasy which possesses our sub consciousness, dreams and visions.

Mona, All Lights Film Magazine, ALFMLatvian film studio ‘DEVIŅI’ and Icelandic production company "KISI Production”. The director of the movie Ināra Kolmane is behind some of the most impressive and awarded documentaries to come out of Latvia and the Baltic region such as “In the Search for Truth”, “My Husband Andrei Sakharov” and “Controversial History”. She is currently working on her next feature film and an impressive documentary project co-produced with France. A sure hand in directing she is the only Latvian film director, who is a member of the European Film Academy (EFA).

The script for the movie is penned by Arvis Kolmanis, Scriptwriter, writer and translator. He is the author of the >compilation of stories “Fourth Version” (1995) and the novel “Drunkard Amor or the Dead God” (2005). The cinematography is handled by Uldis Jancis. He has worked on films such as “Waterbomb for the Fat Tomcat” (dir. Varis Brasla, Latvia-Estonia), “Good Hands” (dir. Peter Simm, Estonia), “Keep Smiling” (dir. Askolds Saulītis, Latvia) and other films. One of the last titles he has been working on is “Picas”, (dir. Cannes laureate Laila Pakalniņa, Latvia) which was recently awarded with CinemaXXI Special Prize at the Rome International Film Festival.

The original score for “Mona” is composed by Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson or HÖH, the most remarkable musician of Iceland who has worked with celebrated performers like Björk, Sigur Rós and Steindór Andersen. He is deservedly world renowned and has composed successful film scores for more than 40 films. In 1991, he received Felix prize for the soundtrack of the Oscar nominated film “Children of Nature”. The film features Saulius Balandis, Kristīne Belicka Lauris Subatnieks ,and Valery Yaremenko ) in lead roles.

 

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