EstDocs event at Tartu College - "Cosmos" and "Ad Lads"
Eestlased Kanadas 19 Oct 2013  EWR
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After successful gala night at Isabel Bader Theater, EstDocs presented two interesting documentaries harkening back to the Soviet era in Estonia.

"Cosmos", a Heli Tetlov's 24 min documentary is set in the tiny town of Põltsamaa, Estonia, the home to the factory that produced the food-filled tubes used by Soviet cosmonauts and which were part of the local Estonian diet for decades. A group of women artists have created a fanciful exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of Põltsamaa food tubes, and invited two former cosmonauts to their opening.

Using entertaining archival clips, Hardi Volmer's and Kiur Aarma's "Ad Lads" recounted the birth, glory and downfall of Peedu Ojamaa, the head of Eesti Reklaamfilm - the only film studio producing commercials in the Soviet Union throughout the '70s and '80s. During its heyday the studio provided employment for hundreds of people and its bizarre clips enthralled millions. And, all this in a planned economy that offered state-supplied goods that often didn't even exist!

The discussion following the films was moderated by Marek Tamm.

The after-party was held at "The Museum Tavern".

Tomorrow, EstDocs will move to George Ignatieff Theatre and present Heilika Pikkov's "Flowers From The Mount Of Olives" and Helga Merit's "Class of 1943".

"Flowers From The Mount Of Olives" talks about Mother Ksenya, an 82-year-old Estonian nun living a contemplative existence inside a Russian Orthodox convent on the Mount of Olives, just outside of Jerusalem's Old City. Withdrawing from her fellow sisters, and soon hoping she will be granted the vow of silence, Ksenya recounts - sometimes reluctantly, but always candidly - her fascinating life's journey, from growing up a lonely child in a broken home and leaving wartime Estonia to surviving failed marriages to ultimately finding spiritual enlightenment. This beautifully shot film gives viewers a glimpse into the rarely seen world of monastic life and introduces us to an unforgettable woman.

"Class of 1943" recounts the story of the teenage boys of graduating class 4b of the Tartu Boys' Gymnasium. The Boys did not head to jobs or university, but rather were immediately conscripted into the German army to shore up its ranks. Helga Merits' arresting documentary uses archival footage, along with letters and diaries (read by narrator Alan Morris), to chronicle the harrowing journeys of seven classmates thrown into battle hoping against all odds to save Estonia from invasion.
While the film focuses on the lives of these few men, it represents an entire generation of Estonian men who were wrenched from their homeland and who hope the world will "Remember us when we are gone."
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