Five people who have recently reached their middle-ages are driving through Estonia to visit a famous witch-therapist to get rid of their problems. But isn't it just weariness of life that ...
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In the follow-up of Estonian classics "Kevade" (1969) and "Suvi" (1976) the same characters have reached their middle-age. Everybody are living quiet family-life but Kiir the tailor who one... See full summary »
In the midst of Stalinist tyranny, six-year-old Leelo's mother is sent to a prison camp. Haunted by her mother's last words telling her to be a good kid, Leelo vows to be on her best ... See full summary »
Helena Maria Reisner,
Urmas Eero Liiv's feature film "Must alpinist" (Ghost Mountaineer) is a youth film with elements of horror which is based on real life events which took place during the Soviet era. It ... See full summary »
On a nice summer day a funny little car rolls over a peaceful farm yard of Muhu island. The family that withdraws from the vehicle is quite odd-looking: an overbearing madam, a henpecked ... See full summary »
The life of Raimond Valgre, an Estonian songwriter of the 1930s and the 1940s, the political changes of his land and his life after war when his songs were considered not suitable for the ... See full summary »
Five people who have recently reached their middle-ages are driving through Estonia to visit a famous witch-therapist to get rid of their problems. But isn't it just weariness of life that bothers the people whose life has gone into a deep routine ? The somber-funny road movie gives a good review of life, people and daily problems in Estonia in the end of the Soviet period.Written by
The car that Ülle Kaljuste is driving is ZAZ 1102 Tauria and it appeared on the market a year after "Keskea rõõmud" was made. The car in the movie was a test-car and Ülle Kaljuste was officially declared to be a test-driver. See more »
You see, the roads around here are so shitty that our car couldn't handle them!
Then why are you coming here, if the roads are so shitty?
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Two married couples from higher middle class and their one still unmarried friend travel through Estonia to meet famous witch doctor. I consider this to be the only real Estonian road movie - there are some others ('186 Kilometers'), but not quite "Keskea rõõmud" (Midlife Joys). The film is directorial debut for Estonian acting legend Lembit Ulfsak, who took over directing when original director (and author of the screenplay) Valentin Kuik fell ill. The inexperience of the director shows, but some of this is definitely the fault of underdeveloped script. The characters and some of their motions are unexplained, some side characters appear out of nowhere and having conversations with main characters and then they disappear, and we - the audience - will never know the relations between these people. Originally the film was intended to be more psychological drama, but new director turned it more lighthearted comedy. Still the the psychological tension between main characters can be felt burning underneath.
All together, it is a nice warm film with that perfect road movie charm. The chemistry between the five main actors is wonderful, making the sarcastic dry humor sound not so bitter but rather sweet. Occasionally shaky cam and awkward camera angel only add more warmth to the sun sun filled experience. Still the only (and very big) flaw of the film is heavily underdeveloped script.
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