D IS FOR DIVISION: Borderline Experiences between Latvia and Russia

Film screening at Kino Krokodil (English)

in cooperation with Cottbus Film Festival

with Bernd Buder (Cottbus Film Festival) and Gwendolyn Sasse (ZOiS)
Chair: Stefanie Orphal (ZOiS)

From D IS FOR DIVISION, film director: Dāvis Sīmanis.

A Latvian far-right nationalist operating out of Russia, a Latvian communist fighting for pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas … the documentary D IS FOR DIVISION (2018) contemplates boundaries between Latvia and Russia. Director Dāvis Sīmanis accompanies the protagonists on both sides of the divide and looks for stories and symbols of national identity. Here at the EU’s north-eastern border, he finds many examples of the absurd – and much to reflect on. After the screening, we will discuss the concept of borders in Eastern European cinema, the potential for conflict in national identity formation, and history’s role in this context.


Bernd Buder has held the post of Director of Cottbus Film Festival, one of the leading international festivals of East European cinema, since 2013.

Dāvis Sīmanis is a Latvian film director. His film directing debut received the Latvian National Film Award in 2006. Sīmanis teaches Film History at the Latvian Culture Academy in Riga and Film Directing as an Associate Professor at Aalto University in Helsinki.

Prof Dr Gwendolyn Sasse is Director of the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS). Her research interests include political identities and conflicts in the post-Soviet space.

Dr Stefanie Orphal is Communications Director at ZOiS.

In cooperation with Kino Krokodil:
Kino Krokodil has been screening Russian and East European film – and not only mainstream productions – since April 2004, making it one of Berlin’s top attractions for people with an interest in Eastern Europe.