Meet The Auteur at Elektriteater #2: Andris Gauja

02. August, 2022 18:00 |

Tartu Elektriteater

Tartudok2024: Meet The Auteur at Elektriteater is a part of Arts of Survival Documentaries event series. This year we are hosting a dozen film directors from Europe in South Estonia, who will bring their best works to Elektriteater. The programme is curated by Arts of Survival Documentaries Artistic Director Kaarel Kuurmaa, who will open a discussion with the auteurs after the films. 

The second resident of the Tartu 2024 Arts of Survival Documentaries Residency is Andris Gauja, who will present his films in cooperation with Tartuff on 2 August at 18.00 in Tartu Elektriteater. The event is in English, films have Estonian and English subtitles. The entrance is free!

18:00 Family Instinct (2011, 58 min)
19:30 The Lesson  (2014, 108 min)
21:10 Q&A with Andris Gauja. Moderator: Kaarel Kuurmaa.


Family Instinct (2011, 58 min)

Family Instinct is Latvian director’s Andris Gauja film about incest, an illegal, social taboo that is also contrary to a religious norm. Zanda (28) is a young woman, prematurely aged by the rigors of hard manual labor. Surrounded by poverty and hopelessness, she is trying to survive with her two children in a god-forsaken Latvian village. Her hardships can be traced back to living in an incest relationship with her brother, Valdis. When Valdis is put in jail, local society makes her to choose: whether she stays with him or with children. Despite her ill fortune, she manages to express her love for her children and is still hoping to save her family. The fiim offers a tragi-comic but highly authentic look at the bleak reality of today’s Latvian countryside.

The Lesson (2014, 108 min)

The Lesson tells the story of Zane, a devoted teacher mentoring the senior class in a Latvian high school. She tries to live her life in the most meaningful way possible. Even so, as for many younger teachers, it’s hard for Zane to keep her distance from her class — the students soon become a sort of family for her. When one of the students falls in love with her, she faces a stark choice between her personal happiness and the pressures of society.

Andris Gauja

After graduating from his screenwriting studies at the Latvian Academy of Culture, Andris Gauja has produced, written and directed documentaries (including the award-winning Family Instinct, (2010, IDFA nomination, AFI-Docs Grand-Prix etc.) as well as two narrative films, Nothing Can Stop Us Now (2019, 9 nominations at the Latvian National Film Prize “Lielais Kristaps”), and The Lesson (2014, Montreal, Chicago, Moscow IFF etc.). Andris is especially interested in character-driven films and in his own work, he often dives into uncomfortable and thought-provoking topics.