Palm Springs International Film Festival 2014
By Don Simpson | January 8, 2014
Director: Janis Nords
Writer: Janis Nords
Starring: Kristofers Konovalovs, Vita Varpina, Matiss Livcans, Indra Brike, Haralds Barzdins
Like most 12-year-old boys, Raymond (Kristofers Konovalovs) does not really think before he does things, rather he acts upon naive impulses that seem to be fueled solely by hormones. Raised by a single mother (Vita Varpina) who works as a doctor at a birthing center, Raymond is adequately loved and cared for, so he is not necessarily acting out for attention. She gives Raymond all of the freedom that he desires, which might be a bit too much; but, if anything, Raymond is probably just bored.
Raymond spends most of his free time with his best friend, Peteris (Matiss Livcans), a classmate from a less privileged pedigree. When the two boys are together, their decisions grow increasingly reckless. Peteris’ mother (Indra Brike) works as a cleaning lady, which gives Peteris uninhibited access into her clients’ homes. When Raymond gains possession of a key, he begins to use that client’s apartment as a home away from home, for no other reason than because he can.
It is not long before Raymond finds his bad choices snowballing hopelessly towards a point of no return. He tries to cover-up each of his crimes with one lie after another. In retrospect, some of Raymond’s actions may seem ridiculously absurd, but writer-director Janis Nords sets up each event so perfectly that Raymond’s decisions make perfect sense as they are occurring. As Nords slowly reveals the web of lies that Raymond’s mother has crafted for herself, a window into Raymond’s thought processes opens wide. It seems as though Raymond might have learned how to lie from his mother’s own example.