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My Favorite War is an anti-war film

This is written April 5, 2022.

On February 24, Russia attacked its neighbor Ukraine and is now waging a brutal, sadistic war. Ukraine's desire to become a democratic country has irritated and frightened the leaders of Russia. They do not want to look ahead but to return to Russia’s authoritarian past.

It hurts to say that our film is relevant like never before.

Russia, the heir to the Soviet Union, is once again brainwashing its citizens, including young children, and forcing the population to love war.

As time passed, Soviet leaders had no longer any major plans other than to retain power. Dictators and authoritarian leaders all follow the same path leading their people into a dark place with no future.

But our world is created and changed through the stories we tell.

Even a drop in the river is a small contribution. We want to contribute by telling about the struggle a Soviet child, Ilze, had with the lies the state served her. A true and personal story about a young girl's longing for freedom and the path to it.

Based on the director’s childhood memories from growing up in Cold War Soviet Latvia. On finding the bones of a German soldier in her sandbox, Ilze wonders what is buried beneath the authoritarian lies and propaganda around her. She sets off on a voyage of discovery. A story from the recent past that resonates with our lives today.

Interviews and press

Animation: Art, activism and anime (interview)
“Artists Use Animation to Tell Diverse, Adult-Skewing Stories”
- Variety
“Ode to a Latvian Childhood: The Challenges & Inspirations of ‘My Favorite War’”
- Animation magazine
“‘My Favorite War’ Review: Animation Allows Director to Tackle Troubling Chapter in Latvian History”
- Variety
“From Soviet Oppression To Annecy Success: The Story Of ‘My Favorite War’”
- Cartoon brew
“From The Singing Revolution to the Animated Revolution of My Favorite War: Interview with Ilze Burkowska-Jacobsen”
- Zippy Frames
“Re-thinking history”
- Modern times
Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen • Director of My Favorite War | “We were manipulated to love war” (interview)
- Cinema europa
Review: My Favorite War
- Cinema europa
"The struggle against capitulation of the soul"
- Arteritory

My Favorite War wins at the Annecy festival

We were touched by this memoir that is part of a bigger story. It gives a vivid feeling for a young girl growing up and evolving in a small Latvian town during the Soviet occupation. My Favorite War teaches the global value of freedom and demonstrates how a very personal story can be of universal interest.

- Annecy jury, 2020
Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen (Director)


and festivals

The Team

Ilze B. Jacobsen
Director, writer
Svein Nyhus
Concept artist
Laima Puntule
Lead background artist
Krišjānis Ābols
Neil Hammer
Arnis Zemītis
Kerija Arne
Toms Burāns
Harijs Grundmanis
Characters & Props
Kārlis Auzāns
Julie Vinten
Reinis Rinka
Ernests Ansons
Sound designer
Guntis Trekteris
Trond Jacobsen
co-director animation