Ansis earns his living as a sign painter, a seemingly innocent occupation. His craft is needed during every regime—the authoritarian Thirties, the Communism that followed, and Nazism. Ansis is compelled to cooperate. He paints the signs of the city green, later replaced by red, and finally brown. But then he gets caught up in a love triangle.
While being in love with a Jewish girl named Zisla, whom he cannot marry for religious and social reasons, he falls for a Latvian girl, who quickly captures his heart. Historical events turn the perspective of relationships upside down as Zisla, the daughter of a rich merchant, turns into a class enemy—a communist. Ansis’s relationship with both women becomes explosive after Zisla falls victim to Nazi persecution.
Follow Ansis’ journey in The Sign Painter (2021, Latvian with English subtitles), a new film from Latvian director Viesturs Kairišs.
The film will be screened in person in the Museum’s Edmond J. Safra Hall. Tickets are $5 each for Museum members or $10 each for the general public. If you’re not a member, join today. If you’re already a member, log in and the member discount will be reflected in your cart.
Hosted in partnership with Senior Programming Consultant Nancy Collet, founder of Cinema Collet.
Public programming at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy C. Hochul and the New York State Legislature; a Humanities New York CARES Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES Act; and other generous donors.