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original title: Knutifikācija

2017, color and B&W, 98 min., Latvian-Russian

biopic chronicle drawings Gulag literature memoirs Nobel Prize poetry post-Soviet space torture worldview

DOCUMENTARY CATEGORY : Art / Music / Literature / Culture, Portraits
PRODUCTION : BUDGET : 72 575 euro


Knuts Skujenieks


Director : Screenplay : Ivars Tontegode
Cinematographer : Jānis Reinfelds, Viktorija Eksta
Producers : Guna Stahovska


Director’s statement:
For me the biggest challenge was to find the way, how to show, rally SHOW the words, thoughts and poems of the great Latvian poet Knuts Skujenieks. After two years conversations and collections of different kind of visual materials and interviews, I made the structure, which could help to get into mind of poet trough to audience recognizable visual icons, keeping the ironic style provided by poet himself.


Knutifiction – a process of learning, metamorphosis. It provokes to review one’s own existence and being in this world through the prism of the History and personality of the Latvian Nobel prize nominee poet Knuts Skujenieks.

Young soviet poet after returning from studies in Soviet metropolis Moscow to provincial home land, one of 15 soviet republics – Latvia, faces the stagnation and as the premonition to other free minded is captured and doomed for 7 years in Gulag. But, unlike KGB plans, he returns from Camp even more creative and undesirable to the existing system. And he keeps being like this till today, in his 80ies.

The film reveals the eternal struggle of a strong personality’s coming to terms with the society and system in which an individual is seen only as the minimum value. Knuts is not a macro revolutionary aiming to change the system, but is rather a micro rebel in his own inner world. His sharp gaze on new times history of Eastern Europe and last 20 years of what is going on in the Globe, provokes the viewer to analyse his own attitude to different times and events, because Knut’s observations are based on his very personal experience during his life.