Marc Gaber. Souvenir from Latvia [on the multimedia DVDs “Imants Ziedonis. Biographical multimedia DVD” and “Latvia, a Land of Forests”] // Baltic Outlook. – pg. 72-73.

Imants Ziedonis

Biographical multimedija DVD

Dd studio, 2008

(..) In telling the story of Ziedonis’s life, the authors of the DVD in fact explain a lot about the Latvian people, particularly how they feel about nature, their traditional love and appreciation for trees, animals and other living things, as well as streams and beaches. The DVD has wonderful pictures of interesting and famous people that Ziedonis has met during his life, as well as footage from various poetry readings and art projects that he has been involved with, including the „Great Tree Liberation Group”, known throughout Latvia for rescuing and helping preserve many of the gigant old oaks, lindens, and other trees that populate Latvia.

It is fascinating to listen to Ziedonis explain his life philosophy in the video clips, and to flip through the different sections of the DVD and read the captions to the many photos documenting not only the life of a contemporary Latvian poet, but the life of Latvia as well.

Latvia, a Land of Forests

Multimedia DVD

Dd studio, 2008

This is one of the best travel guides to Latvia to come along in decades. The interactive map of Latvia allows you to select different places that look like their might be interesting and learn about each one through 360-degree video-panoramas and wonderful photos. You can also switch on or off different map layers, such as roads, streams, towns and political boundaries, to learn more about the area surrounding the point of interest and how best to get there.

The most fascinating part of this disc, however, are the places that are shown. Based on the book In Latvia, the Land of Forests by Imants Ziedonis and his son, Rimants, it lets you learn about the most interesting, scenic places, which most tourists never look for. A sample of these beautiful and, to me, unfamiliar places in Latvia include the Antler Museum near Kolka, the Skaņaiskalns Hill on the river Gauja, the Teiči nature preserve, and the bog footpath in Tīrumnieki. All are wonderful examples of the primeval, almost virgin forests and natural areas tucked into hidden corners of Latvia.