Based on the true story of “Latvia’s Schindler,” this award-winning feature film, selected by Latvia as nominee for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards, offers a gripping account of Žanis Lipke, a blue-collar worker who embarked on a covert mission during WWII to save local Jews from Nazi persecution and certain death.

After Latvia was annexed by the USSR in 1940, Lipke began working at the German military aviation warehouses, supplementing his income to support his family during wartime hardship by smuggling at night. When the German occupation regime began its repressions against Riga’s Jewish population, Lipke ultimately made the decision to use his smuggling methods to help rescue them — using the same lorry in which he transported bootleg alcohol to pluck dozens of people away from the Riga Ghetto and forced labor sites. Despite the danger from German and Soviet forces, Žanis soon expanded his operation to build a special underground bunker beneath his shed after their temporary hiding place risked discovery, and soon his wife Johanna and young son Zigis became involved as well.

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