The Hostage (Kilnieks)

Genre:  Comedy, Drama

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An unusual crime captures the imagination of a city full of offbeat characters in this comedy drama from filmmaker Laila Pakalnina.

It's been a strange and eventful day in the Latvian city of Riga -- a beekeeper transporting his hives has lost his bugs in an accident, a scandal breaks out when it's discovered a key contender in a national bicycle race has tested positive for steroids, and the law has to deal with a woman who has been smuggling unlicensed rabbits, among other things.

But the city comes to a standstill when a hijacker (Branko Zavrsan) takes control of an airliner and demands the flight land at Riga's airport. After touching down, the hijacker releases all the passengers except for one -- an eight-year-old boy named Tom (Kristaps Mednis).

Holding the child as a hostage, the hijacker demands $30 million and safe passage out of Riga, which he seems to have chosen at random. Before long, the hijacker has bonded with Tom, sending out for candy and movies for his young friend, but it doesn't seem likely that their friendship will have a happy ending.

Kilniecks (aka Hostage) received its premiere at the 2006 Locarno Film Festival.

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