Janis is a young boy who lives in the Soviet collective farm "Dawn." His father opposes such a collective farm's creation, meriting himself an enemy of the Soviet people— therefore, Janis betrays his father by adopting his uncle as his caretaker. What unfolds is a tale of revenge on the frontier of a growing Soviet empire.
Retooling the classic Soviet propaganda story about "Young Pioneer" Pavel Morozov— a subject of many books, songs, plays, and even a film by Sergei Eisenstein— Dawn is a powerful visual opus about manipulation, freedom and memory. The fifth feature from celebrated Latvian filmmaker Laila Pakalnina premiered at Tallinn Black Nights, Seattle and Fajr, and was selected as Latvia's official submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.