Three Man and a Fishpond




Miles of vast nature, hordes of birds, a wooden fishermen's shack. And three middle-aged men who do little more than what's necessary to survive in the Latvian boondocks. They catch fish, repair their tools and only say something if they really have to. Do the men live in harmony or in conflict with nature? Two water birds cheerfully dancing to their music could be an indication of the former. But gunshots resound constantly, sending flocks of ducks flying, and the men go after fish with their small nets. One thing is clear: nature provides this tiny community with its daily bread. Director Laila Pakalnina and cameraman Maris Maskalans, who previously made the nature documentary about a garbage dump, recount in images rather than words. They reveal that nature is made up of visual compositions: swans swimming in rank in the dissipating morning fog, a bird's nest in the midst of the reeds, and swarms of bees arranging themselves like pixels in the sky. The editing is rhythmical and often associative. Shots of the men lazing about in the shack are followed by dozing birds; a showering man comes right before a cat licking itself clean. is at once artistic and stripped bare. Pakalnina and Maskalans show, and that's basically it.

Selected for 61st Film Festival Locarno

IDFA 2008 Leipzig

Tridens Baltic Film Award – Best Film and Best Cinematography award at the Black Nights Film Festival, Estonia

National Film Award Lielais Kristaps for Best DOP


Māris Maskalāns

Laila Pakalniņa


Māris Maskalāns


Māris Maskalāns

Sound designer

Anrijs Krenbergs


Māris Maskalāns

Laila Pakalniņa

Sound operator

Arvīds Ceļmalis


Uldis Cekulis