Tale Kalna is a magnificent woman: hardworking, clever, strong and with a great sense for human relationships. In another life, Tale Kalna may have made it to the presidency of Latvia, but reality has made her a farmer with a small parcel of land, a couple of cows and an unflagging work ethic. Her daughter is Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen, also the director of this affectionate film. A documentary that doesn't only focus on Tale Kalna's personal life, but connects that life to the recent history of Latvia, a new member of the European Union. In an eclectic collage of audio and visual fragments, we see all the important moments pass by. The voice-over tells us how the once wealthy country of Latvia experienced great poverty in the post-war years as part of the Soviet Union
. We witness how Tale was a cog in the toilsome Communist bureaucratic machine back then. She found a kindred spirit inMikhail Gorbachev
, and with him in power, independent farms returned to the Latvian landscape. Tale and her second husband left the city in 1991 to start a modest farm. From that moment on, Jacobsen began filming her mother and became the chronicler of a harsh farming existence.
As you can see in this documentary gifted people can sometimes be limited to live up to their full potential because of circumstances like the spirit of an age, country or culture. How can a person accept these limitations and try to find inner peace making most out of their life?
My Mothers Farm (2008), was selected for the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 2008, and won Latvian National Film Award Lielais Kristaps for Best Documentary.