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Latvia, 2010, 70 min
Genre/Subjects: Activism, homophobia, discrimination, politics, religion
Language: in Latvian with Russian subtitles

DIRECTOR: Kaspars Goba

Gay Pride parades have long since become a fixture in many cities. Things are very different in the Latvian capital of Riga, where activists did not succeed in organizing the first gay pride parade until 2005. From the very beginning, the Latvian LGBT event was accompanied by official bans and violent counter-demonstrations on the one hand, and international solidarity on the other. In Homo@lv, Latvian filmmaker Kaspar Goba looks back on the past five years of this struggle, a recent high point of which was when the parade first took place in Latvia. The opening of the Baltic Pride parade in Riga by Swedish EU Minister Brigitta Ohlsson was promptly described by Conservative politicians in the Latvian parliament as ‘interfering in the country’s internal affairs’. In this case, internal affairs meant a homophobic mob which, only superficially held in check by police, hurled insults such as ‘death to gays’, ‘homo Nazis’, ‘pedophiles’ or ‘Latvia for Latvians’ at the gay pride marchers. These annual clashes have led to gay pride activists losing their jobs and members of the clergy being defrocked for supporting lesbians and gays. As far as German Green Party MP Volker Beck is concerned, the Baltic States have long since become a ‘hot spot in the struggle for human rights for lesbians and gays in the EU’. In Catholic Latvia the majority of the population sees things differently. According to a poll taken in 2010, three-quarters of the population would like to see the gay pride parade banned. In his film, Kaspar Goba describes the role of individual politicians in this debate – and exposes their manipulative methods. What is their real goal?


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