Rich Latvian Banker Turned Into a Malayisian Mental Hospital Patient

8. 2. 2016

Author: Filip Šebek

On Monday 29th February at 8:45 pm in Svetozor cinema, there will be a screening of Latvian documentary My Father the Banker. In the movie supported by Institute of Documentary Film, the director describes a dramatic life story of her father, university teacher and later a wealthy banker, who was found by Interpol 18 years after escaping from Latvia in a Malaysian lunatic asylum.
In 1980s everything seemed that Boriss Osipovs will spend his life peacefully at the university, specializing in alternative energy resources. However, after the dissolution of Soviet Union and following independence of Latvia new possibilities emerged for him. During “wild capitalism” in nineties he quickly re-qualified for a banker and began earning great sums of money. Besides, he left his family, got a younger girlfriend, and his wealth was growing also by the means of illegal financial operations. He saw his children, the director Ieva Ozolina and her younger sister, less and less. Once he became threatened by arresting for suspicious financial transactions, he quickly decided to leave his country. Nobody has heard from him since that. After 18 years, Interpol announced to the surprised family that a photography of an older man had been found who looks much alike Boriss and has spent some time in a lunatic asylum in Malaysia. Although her relatives  are very dubious about that, the director of the film decides to search for the proofs if this really is her father. And if he is, what he has gone through and whether he is actually able to get back to average life.
The director devotes a large part of the film not only to explaining the destiny of her father before his disappearing, but also makes the audience familiar with the story of her family and the whole country. She uses TV and family archives and adds many personal memories of the life of her family. The film is a light commentary on a rapid (and very familiar to us) change of Latvia from a poor part of Soviet empire to a country with seemingly infinite possibilities. The final part of the movie when the director travels to Malaysia and together with spectators is very nervous whom and in what condition she is going to meet there should stay a secret here. The film added to East Silver Market and nominated to Silver Eye Award was also introduced at last year's festival IDFA in the industry division Docs for Sale and at a festival in Lübeck, Germany. The screening in Svetozor will be its Czech premiere so you should not miss it. 

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