National Competition 1
“No matter how much suffering you went through, you never wanted to let go of those memories.”
Cinema preserves human memories in amber. In some ways, it also acts as a riposte to incompleteness of personal remembrance. While our recollections of the past are often hazy and indistinct, film allows us to relive moments with exact clarity.
Remembrance is of particular importance to Estonia – it’s the only way to try to keep a picture of a complex and often painful past. Many of the films here deal with issues of memory, some deal with small moments, and others deal with epoch-changing events. But they also deal with those times in life in which memories are formed; incidents which will be remembered forever or people reflecting on a past that somehow feels strange and surreal.
Inherited Memories explores the notion that traumatic experiences can be passed on to future generations. In 1941, a young Estonian railway worker was nearly executed for attempting to escape conscription by the occupying forces. Seventy-seven years later, his granddaughter revisits the places from his stories to gain deeper insight into the connections between them.
A lonely teenager fakes her first menstruation to fit in with her same-age peers in a secluded women-only community.
Today, Arvi, a young Estonian, is 18 years old. As is the custom, her brother Kristjann takes her to celebrate her transition to adulthood. Despite the influence of his seniority, this day will prove decisive for Kristjann.
A Well-Kept Secret
The small Estonian village of Soonlepa is home to its last three residents – a witch, an artist, and a philologist. All their lives will change when Aino the witch is diagnosed with cancer. This film captures everyday life in an abandoned village along with memories of youth and discussions of art and poetry.
The Evolution of the Guard
We are surrounded by people who work hard day after day. One of these people is Marko, a man who is already in his retirement age, yet works round the clock as a guard on a construction site. For many years, he has done his job as a routine and has forgotten everything he has ever dreamed of until his illusion of a stable lifestyle is crushed in a moment, and he must face the long-awaited change.