The commentator who announces this to be the first Estonian talkie, is basically wrong - there was "The Golden Spider", a now lost short talkie with stage beauty Netty Pinna in the title role in 1930 (Tobis Klangfilm sound system), plus an animation talkie in 1931.
Otherwise "The Children of the Sun" is definitely a pointless flick. But you get to see some interesting people: the star of Estonian stage and pop music Ants Eskola, who has nothing to do; Elfie Lepp-Strobel, the wife of the first Estonian jazz musician and establisher of the first jazz orchestra in 1918, The Murphy Band, Kurt Strobel (they left for Germany during WW II); and modern dance enthusiast and choreographer Rahel Olbrei, who is seen to perform a totally pointless, obscene sex-crazed dance on a sea shore. And, of course, Nadezhda Peedi-Hoffmann, Miss Estonia 1932, who probably should be in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest reigning Beauty Queen: the next Miss Estonia was officially elected in 1988, so she wore the crown for 56 years. In real life she died very young, a few years after the film was completed (she's 21 here). She isn't very pretty according to modern standards, but reportedly had high spirits and wit, so some Estonian poets wrote sad verses when she passed away for uncertain reasons. Only Ants Eskola continued in films. He had done one picture before, and went on to star in 24 further Estonian films.
Why these people were brought together and why the not-so-happy union failed to include some scriptwriters who could have given this film ANY story at all, is beyond me. The film was considered lost for about 60 years, and I personally believe it would have been better if it had stayed that way.
Another curio: the film was released both in Estonian and in Finnish, but failed to attract the audiences in Finland as the actors were unknown and the Finns had much better film industry themselves. The sound was recorded (mostly lip synced) in Finland, and over the opening titles we hear the Finnish superstar of 30s, 40s and 50s, Georg Malmsten sing the title song - in Estonian! Sounds pretty decent.
After the obvious failure of the first feature length sound film Estonian film industry dropped feature films altogether, even though there were script competitions held to find appropriate material. Finally in 1940 things looked better again, but Soviet Occupation canceled all further plans. Only regular weeklies were produced between 1932-1947, spiced by occasional short novelty featurettes (such as Estonian actors and singers testing the new sound system in Stockholm) and some documentaries, of which "The Bird Sanctuary in Vilsandi" by V.Bartel (1937) was reportedly awarded at one or another international film festival. Sadly I have found no reference to prove it true.
Another thing that became a thing of the past in 1932, were Miss Estonia competitions. Why these were stopped, God only knows. Miss Estonia 1931, Lilli Silberg, did quite well in Miss Europe finals.
Worth full points as a historical document and curiosity, worth no points at all as a film. So it gets 5.
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