Natasha at the Jewish Film Festival.

NATASHA_day9_0276.jpgBy Lupita Peimbert

(Film) – Mark was having the life of the usual teenager, the son of a functional immigrant family in Canada: parties, free time, a few responsibilities, and a nice room to hang out and call it his own. When Natasha arrived from Latvia, she brought with her a dysfunctional upbringing: anger and other emotional pains combined with a precocious sexual nature turned sexual activity in defiance.

And so the trouble began, so vivid and so deep that one leaves the movie theater in awe, remembering one’s coming of age and the wounds left by love’s disappointments.

The story is supposed to be about Natasha but it ends up being about Mark, and the juxtaposing of the lives of Latvian-Jewish families in their country of origin, and the lives of Latvian-Jewish and other Canadian immigrants from Baltic states. Anybody who has lived in different countries could identify.

Director David Bezmozgis first wrote a short story about Natasha, and then presented other works based on his own family experiences. Now he has brought it to cinema in such a compelling and moving way.

Enough said. Go see it. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Wednesday, July 27 – CineArts 7:50pm, Palo Alto.
  • Friday, July 29 – Roda Theatre 6:25pm, Berkeley.
  • Saturday, August 6 – Smith Rafael Center 8:30pm, San Rafael.

For tickets and more information, please call 415-621-0523, or go to  and #sfjff.  

Lupita Peimbert is a bilingual writer and publisher focusing on art, travel, culture, and life. If you like this announcement, please

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