“Midsummer Madness”–a Latvian culture clash

“Midsummer Madness”


A Latvian Culture Clash


Amos Lassen

There are surprise parties and there are parties that bring about surprises. “Midsummer Madness” is about the latter. In Latvia, St. John’s Night is an occasion for families and friends to come together to eat, drink and have fun. Tradition says that this is the holiday for people to fall in love but there is a catch—in order to fall in love, the magic fern must be found. We have six stories about falling in love here and a lot of fun watching what happens. Curt, an American has made his first trip away from his family and out of the country and he is in Latvia. He takes a taxi, driven by Oskars whose unceasing talk and personal questions almost drives Curt crazy.

A second story is about two firemen who love their football and they have come to Latvia to meet with other firemen and discover something else. The there is a cook, Yuki, who is bored with his girlfriend/lover, Aida. Another story is about Leonid who is about to have his career so into high gear and discovers that Karl, the man who is to bring him the success he needs, has feelings for Leonid’s girlfriend. Then there is a female poet, Livia, who has two lovers after her husband dies and there Foma and Janis who work with gas and are planning a big enterprise. An interesting fact is this Latvian film is not about Latvians but about other nationalities that come to the country.

This is a busy film with a lot of things going on and most of it is very funny. We don’t often get Latvian films so for me this was reason enough to see this. Directed by Latvian, Alexander Hahn, some of the jokes may not seem funny to us but, by and large, I enjoyed the experience.




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