"Moving Valor and Loss"
What You Need To Know:
Based on a novel by Aleksandrs Grins. BLIZZARD OF SOULS is serious, intense and thrilling. The story is engaging and heartfelt yet remains truthful to the events and horrors of World War I. BLIZZARD OF SOULS depicts the brutality of war. So, the graphic scenes of war violence and its aftermath aren’t for the faint of heart. The movie extols strength, bravery, prayer, faith, family, and patriotism, however. For example, Artur fights for his country despite being afraid, the Latvian troops celebrate Easter, and Artur prays for the fallen fathers and brothers in war. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for BLIZZARD OF SOULS.
BLIZZARD OF SOULS, a war movie from Latvia, follows the story of Artur, a 16-year-old boy who enlists in the Latvian military after Germans kill his mother near the beginning of World War I. Artur’s experience of war is nothing like he expected, and his innocent view of the world crumbles right in front of him. Although Artur becomes a glorious war hero, World War I destroys everything and everyone in his life. BLIZZARD OF SOULS is a mature story for older audiences. The movie contains graphic and distressing violence, but it powerfully portrays the realities of war. Adults and history enthusiasts should proceed with caution.
BLIZZARD OF SOULS begins the story with 16-year-old Artur Vanags happily bicycling through the streets. Artur has strong relationships with his mother, father and brother, Edgar. One afternoon, when his father and Edgar leave, German soldiers arrive at the house and kill their mother. Following this incident Artur, Edgar, and their father enlist in the Latvian military to fight against the Germans in “The Great War.”
The Latvian troops begin training for the War, but goof around and don’t realize the gravity of the situation they’ll be facing soon. During the first battle, the Latvian soldiers plan to ambush the German soldiers on the German side. While crossing no man’s land, Artur’s friend, Spilva, is shot and killed. Also, when they reach the German trenches, Artur is too shocked to fight and watches a German soldier his age get impaled right in front of him. Artur gets hit in the head and is knocked unconscious.
Artur begins to realize how vicious and ruthless war is and loses his childlike view of the world. Artur’s father, brother and friends die on the battlefield, leaving Artur orphaned and alone. He meets a nurse named Marta whom he promises to marry by symbolically gifting Marta his mother’s ring. Artur decides to run away to Marta’s farm, but he eventually returns to fight with the Latvian troops.
Toward the end of the movie, Artur returns to battle with the remaining troops. Many children were drafted due to the fact that most of the original soldiers who enlisted had died in battle. Artur becomes a glorious war hero, who teaches the younger children how to fight in war. The young 16-year-old who was afraid to shoot on the battlefield is now instructing others on how to fight. Although Artur receives “fame and glory” for his efforts in the Latvian military, he loses his home, his family, friends, and health. BLIZZARD OF SOULS depicts a meaningful message that many soldiers like Artur sacrificed everything on behalf of their country during the war.
The movie is based on the novel BLIZZARD OF SOULS by Aleksandrs Grins. The movie version is serious, intense and thrilling. The story is engaging and heartfelt yet remains truthful to the events of World War I. BLIZZARD OF SOULS depicts the brutality of war, so the graphic scenes are not for the faint of heart. Attributes of strength, bravery, prayer, family, and patriotism are present throughout the movie, however. For example, Artur fights for his country despite being afraid, and he continues to fight after losing all his family members, the Latvian troops celebrate Easter, a sergeant says, “God be with us,” and Artur prays for the fallen fathers and brothers in war. Overall, BLIZZARD OF SOULS respectfully depicts the sobering truth that many lives, including young children, were lost during World War I. As time continues, many people forget the sacrifice and heroism that was displayed by the Allies. The historical story of Latvia’s involvement in the war in BLIZZARD OF SOULS will be appreciated by older viewers. However, the content and shocking scenes are not appropriate for children and should be viewed with caution by adults.