The second annual festival of Estonian documentary films, Estdocs 2006 will take place from October 14 to 21 at Tartu College, 1 Madison Avenue, at the corner of Bloor Street West. The event is co-ordinated by Maimu Mölder, the film critic from Estonia is Olev Remsu, (who will lead the discussion after every picture) and the publicist is Aarne Vahtra. But again despite the fact it ends with a premiere, there is no red carpet, or even the better blue carpet.
There is a wonderful slate of documentary movies, a number of them with english subtitles, but let's start backward with the premiere.
Men from a forgotten army
Director - Kalle Kaesel
Producer - Anneli Ahven
Screenwriter - Indrek Treufeldt - who will be at the reception, showing and discussion.
Friday, October 20, 6 pm. Reception, 7 pm. Showing Length: 52 minutes
This is the story of Estonian Guard Company 4221 which had formed by the US Army from Estonians who had been mobilized by the German Army and were now POWs. Their job was to guard high ranking Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg Trials between 1946 and 1955. The filmmakers came to Toronto to interview former members of the unit. One such (not necessarily interviewed) was the late photographer for Vaba Eestlane and Meie Elu, Evald "Tommy" Tomson.
The Erna trek
Director and Producer - Vaado Sarapuu
English Language Film Length 56 min
Wednesday, October 18, 7 pm.
One of the world's longest and most difficult military competitions. The name "Erna" comes from the name given to a group of WW II Estonian commandos led by Col. Kurg, trained by the Finns under the Germans with the aim of leading the invasion of Estonia which was at that time ruled by the Soviets. The goal, of course, was to restore Estonian independence.
The blue hills
Director - Raimo Jõerand
Producer - Kiur Aarma
Scriptwriters - Raimo Jõerand, Eerik Kross and Kiur Aarma
English Subtitles Length 52 minutes
Sunday, October 15, 2 pm
The Sinimäed, or Blue Hills of Estonia saw some of the most intensive battles of WW II. In 1944 the Germans massed Estonian volunteers, many in their teens into the fighting. The story is from the detailed diaries of Captain Paul Maitla and from interviews with former Estonian, German and Russian soldiers who were involved.
Director and Producer - Imbi Paju
English Subtitles Length 60 minutes
Wednesday, October 18, 8 pm Starting with a discussion with filmmaker
Two twin sisters, the mother and aunt of the filmmaker, suffered terror under Stalin where they survived by suppressing their memories. This story is also about how as they release these memories Estonia once again becomes free. Excerpts from the dialogue appeared last fall in serial form in Estonian Life.
Wounds of Afghanistan
Director - Ivar Heinmaa
Producer - Riina Sildos
Screenwriter - Margit Kilumets
English Subtitles Length 53 minutes
Sunday, October 15, 1 pm
A story about two Estonian men out of the 1,112 that were mobilized to fight in the Red Army (and where 50 Estonians died) in Afghanistan during the war between 1979 and 1989. They go back to the place where the fighting took place to relive some of the trauma that still exists in them.
Men at arms
Director - Kaaren Kaer
Producer(s) - Anneli Ahven, Erik Moora, Tõnis Leht, Lauri Lippmaa.
English Subtitles Length 109 minutes
Saturday, October 14, 10 pm
A Monty Pythonish history of ancient Estonia in 1208. The evil Teutonic Order marches on the simple happy and good Estonians. The Estonians find a leader to help them oppose the Germans, French, Russians and even the Latvians. We must ready our Honourary Consul General to apologize to the Latvians for this one.
Now for the money. The first and the last showing cost $15- because they have a reception thrown in, otherwise they are $10 --. Tickets are available at the estore 958 Broadview Ave, Toronto, Ontario, (416) 465-2219
There are other films on the program as well but they are only in Estonian, and there are more coming so keep watching this spot.