Eleven-year-old Janis denounces his father. As an exemplary pioneer living on a Soviet collective farm called Dawn, he realizes enemies of the system lurk everywhere. Even his loved ones could be conspiring against the collective and its authority. The boy's father is not beholden to him and starts a vendetta. The starting point for Janis's story in Laila Pakalnina's Dawn comes from the life of Pavlik Morozov, one of Stalin's martyrs, who, in the early 1930s, betrayed his family and was murdered. At the same time, the director was inspired by the screenplay to Sergei Eisenstein's Bezhin Meadow. Dawn portrays the oppressive, suffocating world of the Soviet system, which was dominated by absurdity. Pakalnina and cinematographer Wojciech Staron have created one of the most interesting and most original snapshots of totalitarian reality. This is Pakalnina's fifth feature film.
Born in 1962 in Liepaja, Laila Pakalnina is a Latvian film director and screenwriter. She completed her studies in 1986 at Moscow State University (Faculty of Journalism). Five years later, she completed a degree in Film Direction at Moscow's Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography. She has made more than 30 films since 1991. Her feature The Shoe was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998 in the Un Certain Regard section. Her films have been screened at major international film festivals, including in Berlin, Venice, and Locarno.
1991 Vela (doc., short)
1998 Pantofelek / Kurpe / The Shoe
2003 Pyton / Pitons / The Python
2006 Zakładnik / Kilnieks / The Hostage
2015 Świt / Ausme / Dawn