Uldis Brauns was one of the most influential filmmakers of what became known as the Baltic poetic documentary tradition. Brauns’ career really started when he was roped into work as cinematographer on a short documentary titled The White Bells, whiel studying at the Rīga School of Poetic Documentary Cinema, a film which went on to achieve canonical status in Latvian cinema. One of a new generation of filmmakers emerging from Riga Film studio, Brauns made waves across Europe with his groundbreaking approach to storytelling, inspired and championed by the the avant-garde Soviet documentarian and film theorist Dziga Vertov in the 1920s. Often lacking a conventional narrative structure, the abstract and elegiac documentary that emerged from films in this period ushered in a Baltic New Wave. The films were marked by a metaphysical veneer, which lent them an artifice of political naivety. Yet this was belied by their subject matter — often focused on the extraordinary stories, bodies, and faces of ordinary people. Brauns’ seminal films include 235,000,000 (1967), a montage documentary of daily life from all over the Soviet Union, and his witty satire of youth and speed, Motorcycle Summer (1975).