Estonian film - 100!
Volli Pall, Chintis Lundgren
were first – Latvians or Estonians? We can be justly proud of the
achievements and recognizability of the Riga School of Poetic
Documentary, but meanwhile, just a few hundred kilometers up North a new
wave of documentary filmmaking was emerging in Estonia in the 1960s.
Metaphor and irony have been the two main ingredients of Estonian cinema right from the beginning. Johannes Pääsuke`s film Bear Hunt in Parnu County (Karujaht Pärnumaa, 1912) is a well known allegory about the political struggle between Estonians and Baltic Germans.
The ability to convey to the viewer that which cannot be said aloud reached its peak during the Soviet times. This compilation of documentary shorts is undeniable proof to the fact that the Estonians had succeeded at tricking the preachers of social realism and the advocators of communism to their advantage - just like the shepherd and the devil in the popular fairytale. These are ambiguous masterpieces that still possess an unbelievably youthful and avant-garde feel.
The most important thing in filmmaking is playful joy and a deep understanding of the era.
Estonian Cinema – 100. Classic Estonian Short Docs
30.05. 20:00 Splendid Palace, 76 min
Director: Andres Sööt, 1965, 10'21 min
Tiny Ruhnu island's portrait becomes a meditation on sea, soil, values and overcoming the limits of human capability. The debut film of one of Estonia’s most well-known documentarians, Andres Sööt.
The Long Street
Director: Hans Roosipuu, 1966, 9'50 min
A film based on Lennart Meri's (well-known Estonian filmmaker, later politician and president of Estonia) idea and screenplay about the everyday flow of life on one of the most important street in Old Town Tallinn, Pikk Street. An absorbing experiment that edits together hidden camera images with sound and music.
Director: Ülo Tambek, 1967, 11'11 min
Another avant-garde documentary, made after Lennart Meri's idea and screenplay, brings to life the walls, steps, towers, doors and other dark and spooky corners of Old Town Tallinn and conducts an investigation into the “secrets” of this stone world.
Director: Ülo Tambek, 1968, 17'50 min
Made in 1968, this film was shelved until 1989. The restored version starts with the decree of Tallinnfilm studio – the film is pessimistic, authors have failed to fulfill the potential of the given topic in depicting the life and socialistic struggle of Estonian peasants, thus inevitably the following shots read as sharp criticism on alienation from traditional values and irony on the benefits of collectivization. The voiceover text uses citations from the USSR Communist Party program.
Director: Peep Puks, 1969, 10'23 min
Poetic look on life in the countryside from spring to autumn, from old people to children, from sowing to harvesting.
511 Best Photos of Mars
511 paremat fotot Marsist
Director: Andres Sööt, 1968, 14'33 min
The masterpiece of 1960s' Estonian documentary combines hidden camera images of people in Tallinn’s cafés with the music from The Beatles and G. F. Handel, poems and science news in the most unexpected way, creating an eery feeling of an outsider looking at the strange life-forms on a newly-discovered planet.
More about these 100 spectacular years in Estonia read here.