Estonia became independent for the first time in 1918. But the independence didn’t last long: in 1940 Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union. A year later it was occupied by the Germans and in 1944, annexed again by the Soviets.
Paul Merits’ writings and notes bring this period to life. Paul went to a gymnasium school for boys in the late thirties. He had hoped to go to university, but was forced to join the German army instead. Like thousands of others he fled the country in 1944 out of fear for the Soviets. His parents, though, stayed behind in Estonia. The film concludes with some of their letters to Paul, expressing all their longing for their lost son on the other side of the Iron Curtain. They never saw him again.
This film is very important for all Estonians as the reminder of the tragic part of our history. But the film is not only very essential for Estonians, but also for other people. Kallis Paul helps them in their understanding of our history.
To our delight, this film won the Theodor Luts Prize for best documentary (in 2008).
A memorable image: