Anne leaves Estonia to come to Paris and care for Frida, an elderly Estonian lady who emigrated to France long ago. Anne soon realizes that she is not wanted. All Frida wants from life is ... See full summary »
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August 1991, military coup d'etat in Moscow. When Soviet tanks are on the streets of Tallinn, Estonia, all hopes for independence seem to be lost. People in the only local television station, ETV, are facing their own choices.
Anne leaves Estonia to come to Paris and care for Frida, an elderly Estonian lady who emigrated to France long ago. Anne soon realizes that she is not wanted. All Frida wants from life is the attention of Stephane, her younger lover from years ago. Stephane, however, is desperate for Anne to stay and look after Frida, even against the old lady's will. In this conflict of strangers, Anne finds her own way... Written by
Drawing nearer of opposites or even antipodes in different environments is mostly interesting to watch - even if the idea has been used dozens of times, including in dramas. As a result of Soviet deportations and World War II, Estonians scattered into various countries, including France, where their number remained yet modest. In spite of several joint arrangements and clubs, Estonians are rather individualistic and pigheaded, and any outrage or discontent is remembered for a long time and hardly forgiven... All this is well depicted in the film, where two ladies of different age and background have to make amends, cope and find new angles to get along. As for the cast, Jeanne Moreau and Laine Mägi give really pleasant and strong performances, their mutual chemistry is visible both in agreeing and disagreeing scenes; male characters are more sketchy and plain (including the one played by Patrick Pineau).
The bizarre thing and minus from me is the fact the old lady refused to talk Estonian - Estonians refugees were very proud of the roots and language, older generations have not forgotten it even after 40+ years abroad. Thus, the character played by Moreau could have been French or someone left for France as a very young child...
Thus, the film in question is not the best Ilmar Raag has directed and written, but it is still worth watching, particularly among middle-aged/elderly people.
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