Vogelfrei (2007)

Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - Latvia   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

Four scenes in a man's life chart his growth from boyhood to his fading years in this omnibus feature from Latvia. In "Childhood," written and directed by Janis Kaljes, Teodors (Igors Suhoverhovs) is a young boy who loves birds but has a bit more trouble relating to people. Teodors is introduced to the mysteries of the opposite sex when a girl in his circle of friends, who has spied a teenage couple making love, decides to give him a kiss, with awkward results. Gatis Smits helms "Youth," in which teenaged Teodors (Karlis Spravniks) still feels cut off from those around him, despite making good on his school's hockey team and showing acting talent in the drama club. Teodors struggles to make friends with his classmates, but the harder he tries, the less he succeeds. "Adulthood," from filmmaker Janis Putnins, catches up with Teodors (Ints Teterovskis) in his thirties, as he enjoys a successful career in public relations. Teodors has learned to talk to people and use his charm to persuade them, but we learn that he still hasn't mastered the art of making a genuine emotional connection with others. Finally, Teodors (Liubomiras Lauciavicius) has come to terms with his solitary nature in "Old Age," written and directed by Anna Viduleja. In his spare time, Teodors plays organ at church services and indulges his passion for bird watching, which puts him in contact with two men who ask him to help them catch a wild hawk. Teodors agrees, but finds he'd rather follow a wily owl than capture the elusive game bird.