Moja najljubša vojna / My Favorite War

Moja najljubša vojna / My Favorite War

Synopsis

Norway, Latvia, 2020, 82'
In English, Latvian and Russian with English and Slovenian subtitles

Based on the director’s childhood memories from growing up in Cold War Soviet Latvia. On finding the bones of a German soldier in her sandbox, Ilze wonders what is buried beneath the authoritarian lies and propaganda around her. She sets off on a voyage of discovery.
It’s a coming-of-age story, a personal escape route from the mighty authoritarian regime’s brainwashing. An anti-war film, emphasizing the importance of an individual’s freedom being a democratic society’s fundamental right.

Directed and written by: Ilze Burkovska – Jacobsen
Art director: Svein Nyhus
Animation: Krišjānis Ābols, Neil Hammer, Arnis Zemītis, Kerija Arne, Toms Burāns
Editing: Julie Vinten, Reinis Rinka
Music: Kārlis Auzāns
Sound Design: Ernests Ansons
Voices: Mare Eihe, Madara Bore, Regīna Razuma, Kaspars Znotiņš, Anete Vanaga
Producers: Trond Jacobsen, Guntis Trekteris
Production: Bivrost Film, Ego Media
Distribution: Ego Media

Animated documentary is a specific way of storytelling. It’s an artistic choice. In my case I knew that there is no archive footage where those emotions from the Soviet times that I wanted to reveal are documented. I could choose to make a fiction film, but then I would be asked to add something that did not happen to make the story more edgy or dramatic, or richer. Now it is how I felt it. And with facts from my life. Including the themes in the exam essay, or the school's cook who got famous for her stealing. Including the right visuals of the details. To draw the props, costumes or locations is cheaper than to make them, if I might joke a bit.
- Ilze Burkovska – Jacobsen

The film is about finding your own truth and identity beneath the state propaganda. It is about getting wiser, about understanding how you can learn to think independently. I sensed very early in my childhood that there was one truth about what the reality is at home and something different, some other reality, outside the home, in the official society. So the film is about the process of how to become one person without double identities and lies to yourself.
- Ilze Burkovska – Jacobsen

We were touched by this memoir that is part of a bigger story. It gives a vivid feeling for a young girl growing up and evolving in a small Latvian town during the Soviet occupation. My Favorite War teaches the global value of freedom and demonstrates how a very personal story can be of universal interest.
Annecy jury, 2020

Awards and festivals (selection):
- Annecy Feature Film Contrechamp Award & Prix du jury SensCritique, Annecy IAFF 2021
- Special Distinction Prize, Bucheon IAFF (Korea)
- Feature Film Grand Prix, New Chitose IAF
- Best Animation Director, Best Animated Film, Latvian National Film Prize
- Animator Of The Year, Palm Springs IAF 2020

Film info

Directed by: Ilze Burkovska – Jacobsen
Production: Bivrost Film, Ego Media
Festival programme: Animated Feature Films
Year: 2020
Length: 82'
Country: Norway, Latvia