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Valiant! A Car, a Cause and the Cold War

The Dayton Latvian Community has secured a private screening of this film. This event is free, donations accepted. Q & A, to follow.

By Dayton Latvian Community

When and where

Date and time

Sunday, April 2 · 4 - 6:30pm EDT


The Neon 130 East 5th Street Dayton, OH 45402

About this event

  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

When Juris, a New Jersey native born to Latvian WW2 refugees, lifts the tarp that's been covering his old car for the last 25 years, he finds his '71 Valiant "Slant Six" invaded by earthworms and stray cats. Still decorated with a caricature of Gorbachev as well as "Nyet Nyet Soviet" and other anti-Soviet slogans, the Valiant chauffeured Latvian freedom activists to Soviet embassies from DC to Ottawa through the final years of the Cold War in the 1980s. Driving day to day between New York and New Jersey, the car's decor provided some much needed PR for a country few could find on a map. Protests led by Latvians living in exile kept the plight of the Soviet occupied Baltic States on the radar of the press, and in turn, the foreign policymakers of the US. "Valiant!" reveals the strategic thinking that went into creating an effective and newsworthy protest, as well as the resoluteness of organizers, born and raised in the United States, to make use of unorthodox methods as they fought for their cause. The protest leaders, almost all having been arrested at some point, later emerged as policy makers both in Latvia and the United States. Meanwhile, Juris enlists his friend to help resurrect his rusted Valiant and bring it back to where it all started - Latvia.

About the organizer