Friday, February 25, 2005

Raag made a film on August 1991.

Today, on Estonian Independence day at 10.45 a.m ETV screened a film on the events of August 1991, when Estonia gained it’s independence. The film was scripted and directed by Ilmar Raag. I was strongly recommended to watch it by several Estonian media and film-related people . So I did, not being sure what to expect from it. I was afraid that I would not feel so strong relation with the events that took place when I was only 8 years old. I thought I wouldn’t remember it all that well to be able to connect to the film. But the best part of that film was that it wasn’t necessary to remember things as they actually happened. It tells a good story in a masterful way. It shows events from an interesting point of view, from the perspective of a group of Estonian Television workers. Some of the most well-known TV personalities of that time are in present and it’s due to some good actors that these persons come alive and feel so real. I consider the authentic look and sense of that time to be one of the strongest points of that film. Raag has managed to capture the aura and tension of that period very well.
Yet, I can’t see it as a documentary as it was first introduced in a program guide and media. Raag himself has admitted that some of the sequences were made up, therefore you can’t categorise it under documentary film. Although I give this film a big credit for being one of the few good surprises in Estonian film-making in years, it still carries a message for only Estonians. And that , similarly to all the recent domestically produced films can be considered as the biggest weakness of this film- it’s a film made about Estonians to the audience of Estonian people. And there have been too many examples like that in past decade or so. Hence I hope to see something different in the future. I believe Estonian film-makers have the will and talent to make good films. So I anxiously look forward to the time, when Estonian film-makers can finally make a film that would appeal to foreigners, that would be understandable and praised everywhere you showed it. Not only here in Estonia.


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