• Daniela Zacmane Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia



melodrama, modality, coming-of-age, The Pit


Over the course of last three decades, Latvian cinema has experienced significant changes. Since country’s renewal of independence and return to Europe many socio-political transformations took place. Film industry also changed a lot. In the 21st century films mostly are made on the basis of digital technology; film directors can freely choose the subjects of the films. We may presume that the characters portrayed on the screen have undergone changes, for example, representation of mother, father and coming-of-age young people. However, have these changes truly occurred?

The essay will focus on coming-of-age story “The Pit”, made by Latvian film director Dace Puce (Dace Pūce) (2020). Melodrama elements or – the backbone of melodrama can be recognized in the aesthetics of the film. The analyses of film will be based on article by Linda Williams “Mega-Melodrama! Vertical and Horizontal Suspensions of the “Classical””, where the author points out four features of nowadays melodrama. Although melodrama resonates with many social problems which are articulated according to aesthetics of melodrama, multiple stereotypes can be identified in the film when analysing the plot, the image of the victim and the way the viewers sympathy is directed to.


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Elsaesser, T. (1991). Tales of sound and fury. In: M. Landy, (ed). Imitations of Life: a Reader on Film & Television Melodrama. Detroit, Mich: Wayne State Univ. Press, pp. 68-91.

Gledhill, C. (2018). Prologue: The Reach of Melodrama. In: C. Gledhill, L. Williams, (eds). Melodrama Unbound. Across History, Media and National Cultures. Columbia University Press.

Kukaine, J. (2016), Daiļās mātes: sieviete, ķermenis, subjektivitāte, Neputns.

Williams, L. (2018). “Tales of Sound and Fury…” or, The Elephant of Melodrama”. In: C. Gledhill, L. Williams (eds). Melodrama Unbound. Across History, Media and National Cultures. Columbia University Press.