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In the Crosswind (2014)

Original title: Risttuules

Feature film | Epic, historical Duration 87:00


Historical Background
In August 1939 a treaty between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany was signed, under which both sides pledged to remain neutral in the event that either nation were attacked by the third party. It remained in effect until 22 June 1941, when Germany invaded the Soviet Union.In addition the treaty included a secret protocol dividing Northern and Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Thereafter, Germany and the Soviet Union invaded their respective sides of Poland. Part of Finland was annexed by the Soviet Union after Winter War in 1940. This was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Western Ukraine, Western Byelorussia and Moldova in 1940.

Pravda, the voice of the Communist Party, wrote at this time: “Peter I made a great mistake when he allowed the native peoples of the Baltic region to continue living in the lands they inhabited.” On 16th May 1941 Communist Party decided to correct that mistake and adopted a special act “About the deportation of the socially alien element from the Baltic Republics, Western Ukraine and Byelorussia, and Moldova”.

On June 14, 1941, 3 a.m. the first mass deportation started. Overcrowded echelons went towards Siberia, taking with them more than 40 thousand people from Baltic countries. Men were separated from families and taken to prison camps, while women and children were taken to the most remote Siberian regions. During subsequent mass deportations, which lasted until 1953, several hundred thousand people were deported from Baltics. Many died of starvation, disease and excruciating work. Few made it back to their homeland with a long delay of decade or two. www.allfilm.ee  

Author’s Approach
The script is based on letters, memoirs, archive materials, drawings, photographs and interviews. However the main inspiration comes from a diary by a young Estonian woman called Erna.

Erna dissects her life in Siberia with unique skill of analysis. The freedom of her thought and ability of treating time are most astounding. Time stopped for Erna when she was forcefully taken away from her home. It lost its dimension for her and stayed so for the rest of the time she spent in Siberia. Her time in Siberia was one indefinable waiting. The deportee’s heart had remained back at home in month of June.

Films visuals came about from the idea of relativity of time. Is time absolute or is it based on relationships? Does time pass for real or are the concepts of past, present and future based on delusion? If latter is the case then how would it be possible to maintain this delusion in film medium?

“In the Crosswinds” is told in following way. The conditions of those times will be meticulously recreated using authentic photos and drawings. Actors and extras freeze in the middle of whatever they might happen to be doing at the particular moment of the scene. It is as if a finger of fate had stopped their activity… In the middle of all this, the camera as the only moving object “moves around” in three dimensions. This creates the impression that the movement is taking place within the pictures. The dialogue of the film’s characters, sound design, and music accompanies this frozen yet nevertheless dynamic visual world. www.allfilm.ee

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