‘THE PIT’ LATVIA’S OSCAR ENTRY FOR BEST FOREIGN FILM
Recently I got to enjoy a lavish lunch with Latvian filmmaker Dace Puce at The Rooftop at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills to celebrate her film, The Pit, being her country’s official entry for Best Foreign Film at the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards.
The Pit is a dark coming-of-age story that follows Markuss, a brooding ten-year-old boy, coming to terms with the death of his father, the abandonment of his mother, and being shipped off to be raised by his hardnosed grandmother. Markuss quickly becomes persona non grata in his small countryside town after he ditches a neighborhood girl after she falls into a pit. The boy, played impressively by newcomer Damir Onackis, is an emotionally wounded youth trying to find his place in a world, or in this case village, where stigmatized sexuality, domestic violence, bullying and emotional trauma are par for the course.
While the film is dark in tone, my lunch with the film’s writer-director was long and lush and brightly lit as we enjoyed a lovely rooftop view looking down at the streets of Beverly Hills. I started my meal with a refreshing Strawberry Mezcal Punch mixed with cinnamon-infused El Silencio Espadin Mezcal, fresh strawberries, orgeat, and lime. It went along very well with my burrata with figs, which served as a great starter.
I went big with my entrée selection and thoroughly enjoyed and relished every bite of my Lobster Burger and fries. Yes, lobster burger, prepared with Gruyere cheese and green chili dressing. Can you say fabulous? It paired well with my Cynar Boulevardier made with Sazerac Straight Rye, Cynar 70, and sweet vermouth.
The Pit is based on three short stories by novelist Jana Egle and filmmaker Dace Puce really related.
“My personal connection appears in various aspects of the film. A boy who is seeking love and attention reminds me of my own childhood. When I was 5 years old, I was dreaming of a day when my dad came home, but he left me and my mom and never returned.”