Rocks in My Pockets

Not available for screening anymore

Rocks in My Pockets

Directed by Signe Baumane

  • Latvia, USA 2014; 93 min
  • Original version: English
  • Genre: Animation
    • FIPRESCI Award - Karlovy Vary IFF
    • The Ecumenical Jury's Special Mention - Karlovy Vary IFF
    • Special Jury Mention - Vilnius IFF

  • Latvian submission for the Academy Awards

Synopsis

Latvia, the late 1920’s. Anna, a young woman, pretty and educated, falls in love with an adventurous entrepreneur, 30 years her senior. But with marriage comes great jealousy, and the entrepreneur hides Anna away in the forest, far from other men, where she bears him eight children. The Great Depression hits them hard. Then Latvia is overrun with invasions by the Soviets, then the Nazis, then the Soviets once again. Anna is a pillar of strength, defying the hardships, raising her young, teaching them survival secrets of the forest. But something inside her is terribly wrong. Years later, Signe, a young artist, asks her father, “How did my grandmother die?” Her father is evasive. His seven siblings are evasive, as well. Signe strongly suspects that Anna committed suicide. Clues of mental illness had always leaked through the family stories. Signe suffers from depression herself. Three of her cousins, all women, battle madness, as well. Could there be a link between Anna and the four granddaughters? Defying the stigma that silences so many, Signe takes us on a journey deep into her own depression where she looks to confront the family demons. But, unlike her cousins, Signe finds an assuring guide in animation and art.

Director's Statement

I describe Rocks In My Pockets as “a funny film about depression”. Well, maybe it’s not an outright comedy, but it’s full of irony and uses funny images to talk about serious matters. The thing that interests me as an artist, one of the things, is the interaction of the inwardly personal with the outwardly social. We all have deeply personal experiences that we don’t discuss, but we feel them, and when we externalize them, they become stories, and most likely they become really removed from the original inner experience. I want to bridge the gap between the internal and external, I want to communicate what it really feels like to be alive and go to a dentist, or have sex, or be depressed. I do often address difficult, uncomfortable subjects in my films because I believe in confronting the things that bother me head-on. The very idea of making a film on depression happened one November day in 2010 when I was struggling through another bout of obsessive thoughts of self-elimination. I started to write down the different scenarios of how I would not commit suicide (I am very finicky and controlling about those matters). Written down, those thoughts became absurd, funny and harmless. It occurred to me that other people might relate to this thought process and might find it amusing and disarming to hear them aloud. I then asked myself where these thoughts might come from, and the whole story started pouring out of me.

Production

  • SIGNE BAUMANE STUDIO

     

International Sales

  • NEW EUROPE FILM SALES