Estdocs13 Volunteers (not in order with photo): Festival Director, Kristi Sau Doughty; Festival Director Emeritus, Ellen Valter; Festival Director Emeritus, Maimu Mölder; Program Director, Alan Teder; Operations Director; Ingrid Randoja; Finance Director, Vaino Einola; Marketing and Communications Director, Kaili Lupp; Secretary, Maret Jaks; Programming, Kaisa Pitsi, Kaili Paakspuu, Markus Liik, Robert Hiis, Lembit Ristsoo; Technical, Rein Ende, Tauno Mölder, Peeter Piil, Andre Vare; Communications, Kaili Lupp, Merike Kalm, Maimu Mölder; Facilities/Front of House; Christina Prozes, Viive Tork, Liis Truuvert, Maarika Hiis; Design, Tiina Aleman, Ashley Lennox, Tiit Telmet, Kaja Wichman; Jury Consultants, Reet Mae, Tiina Soomet, Merike Weiler; Short Film Competition, Tauno Mölder; EstDocs Governance Committee, Tiina Soomet (Chair), Anu Jõe, Mart Pikkov, Kaja Telmet - photo by Adu Raudkivi
Reede, 01 November 2013 11:25
Estonian Life No. 44 2013
The first film, directed by Peeter Vihma and Artur Talvik, was Occupy Your Wall, a description of Estonian involvement, a version of Occupy Wall Street. The wall mentioned was the Berlin Wall. The creater of the movement was Estonian Kalle Lasn who publishes the magnazine "Ad Busters", a periodical opposed to serial consumerism, the road to our society's ruin. The shopping list of the Estonian demonstration was Pühajarv Pro-School Community, the internet community and the Nabala Protected Environment Zone. The problem with going into political action with a shopping list of issues is that the issues become diluted by the demonstration itself.
Marek Tamm, Estonian historian and moderator of Estdocs 2013 - photo by Adu Raudkivi
The next film was the Gala Presentation by Maureen Castle Tusty (they gave us the critically aclaimed documentary The Singing Revolution which won the top prize at EstDocs 2007 and went on to thrill audiences world wide) "To Breath As One". It features a youth choir from Oakland, California, which has been invited to sing at the Song Festival held every five years with 30,000 singers to an audience of around 150,000 people. To that end they must learn all the songs to be sung at the festival in Estonian. They join in the singing. Needless to say they are blown away (over awed) by the experience.
The third film, Cosmos, directed by Heli Tetlov is about a small village (Poltsamaa) that made food tubes for Soviet astronauts and their fiftieth anniversary. They even invited some former astronauts to the event. The dinner was probably not of the tube food.
Kristi Sau Doughty, chair of Estdocs - photo by Adu Raudkivi
Ad Lads directed by Hardi Volmer and Kiur Aarma, is Estonia's version of the famous American TV series, Mad Men. The film is about the "birth, glory and downfall" of Peedu Ojamaa director of Eesti Reklaamfilm (Estonian Ad Film), which was active in the '70's and '8o's. Considering the economic monopoly of the Soviet system it's hard to imagine the need for competitive advertising.
"Flowers From The Mount of Olives", directed by Heilika Pikkov, won the critics award at EstDocs13. It tells the story of an Estonian, 82 year old nun at a Russian Orthodox convent in Jerusalem who is about to take her vows of silence. Her youth was from a dysfunctional home, her many marriages finally led to a monastic existence. The film was well crafted.
"Class Of 1943" directed by Helga Merits, talks about seven teenage boys from a graduating class 4b of Tartu Boys' High School who were conscripted into the German army to stop the impending advance of Russia's military. This story is representative of a whole generation that were caught in the throes of war and then scattered afterwards around the world. The film is interspersed with archival footage and well narrated.
"Pigeons" directed by Kadriann Kibus is about a pigeon breeder in failing health and a widow living in the Russian section of Tallinn.
Master of ceremonies, Kaili Lupp - photo by Adu Raudkivi
"Bloodtype" by director Leeni Linna talks (and shows) at length Estonian soldiers in Afghanistan, those who have lost their limbs. One of the main characters, Jaan, lost a close friend and still deals with survior guilt. The troops travel in the latest American armoured vehicles but live with the joy that they are the last group to be sent there.
"Viru: The Embassy Of Freedom" directed by Margit Kilumetsa takes a trip through cold war decadence in a 500 room hotel that was built by a Finnish company. It has interviews with managers, restaurant staff, entertainers, black market operators who were all in the centre of Estonian "cultural and political life". The film was in Estonian and Finnish but the subtitles were too small for those that did not understand both languages.
"Anthems Of The Grand Old Man Of Song" directed by Ulle Oun takes the history of Gustav Ernesaks apart looking at both sides of the man. His anthem which became Soviet Estonia's anthem "Mu Isamaa On Minu Arm" or "My Fatherland Is My Love" didn't have any mention of communism or Stalin, in spite of the fact that he wrote three songs that praised Joseph Stalin. The question posed was whether he was a true patriot or not. Whatever he was his bronze statue sits at the middle of the song festival ground. A most appropriate way to finish off the Estdocs13 festival.