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Set in a small town in Latvia in the early 1940s, this cinematic tragicomedy tells the story of Ansis, a talented artist who supports himself as a sign painter, a seemingly innocent occupation that’s crucial to every regime. He is required to obey orders, no matter who is in power. He swears he loves Zisla, the daughter of a wealthy Jewish merchant, but he will not ask for her hand in marriage. As Nazism rises throughout Europe, anti-Semitism surges in their small town. In hopes of self-preservation, Zisla joins the Communist party, which some of her neighbors consider an overt threat. Meanwhile, Ansis meets Naiga, the charming and capricious new woman in town, and is quickly caught up in a dangerous love triangle.