On the Water
“What are you fiddling there?” – “What?” – “What are you fiddling?” – “I’m not fiddling anything!” – “Damn, I saw what you did there under the blanket – you were fiddling with your willie!” – “No, I wasn’t!” – “Do you want to become diseased? You could even die, if you fiddle!”
It’s not an easy thing, the end of childhood. Particularly if you are a boy, growing up in a back yard of a stifling small town in Estonia at the beginning of the 1980s, get bullied at school and your life is otherwise tedious, and at home you have to suffer antiquated grandparents. It’s good that you have at least some friends, like asylum-certified Kolla and ex-convict Valter – both from the same back yard. The only place where life cannot trouble you with its worries is Lake Tamula – you can lose yourself fishing there for days.
Grand master Peeter Simm’s film stays on the same wavelength with Olavi Ruitlane’s bestseller of the same title, being simultaneously the Estonian classics “In the Back Yard” and “Spring”, comical and tragic, lyrical and grotesque, tender and cruel. There are a lot of ‘firsts’ here: the first willie-fiddling, the first love, the first close encounter with death, plus a number of farcical events which can only happen in the fertile conditions of the Soviet absurd. Because the back yard is the theatre stage of the populace, where everyone directs the play called “My Life”.
Still, it is not a story of the Soviet absurd and the end of an era, but about the possibilities of staying human in an imperfect world. All the characters of this innocently authentic universe – from the recidivist to the communist – wish to be loved. And that is the most important thing.
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Peeter Simm (snd 1953) lõpetas 1976. a Moskvas Üleliidulise Riikliku Kinematograafiainstituudi ning tegutseb filmirežissööri ja Balti filmi- ja meediakooli õppejõuna. Ta on lavastanud 11 pikka mängufilmi ja 20 dokumentaalfilmi. Tema mängufilmid on osalenud Cannes’i, Berliini ja Moskva filmifestivalil. Ta on võitnud ka Läti ja Valgevene parima filmirežissööri auhinna.
Filmograafia (valik/selected): Ideaalmaastik (The Ideal Landscape, 1980), Arabella, mereröövli tütar (Arabella, The Pirates´s Daughter, 1983), Puud olid... (1985), Inimene, keda polnud (A Man Who Never Was, 1989), Ameerika mäed (Roler Coaster, 1994), Head käed (Good Hands, 2001), Kõrini (Fed Up!, PÖFF 2005), Georg (PÖFF 2007), Üksik saar (Lonely Island, PÖFF 2012), Vee peal (On the Water, 2020)