Fleeing from the Russian secret police, a young Estonian fencer is forced to return to his homeland, where he becomes a physical education teacher at a local school. The past however catches up and puts him in front of a difficult choice.
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This movie is about the Estonian War of Independence (1918-1920), specifically the students fighting on the nationalist side, but also shown the conflict between two ideologies (Estonian nationalism and communism).
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Helena Maria Reisner,
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The young country of Estonia is dancing to the jazzy tune of the 1920s when, on December 1 1924, the capital Tallinn is overrun by members of the Comintern in an attempt to stage a ... See full summary »
Fleeing from the Russian secret police because of his controversial past, a young Estonian fencer named Endel is forced to return to his homeland, where he begins to train a group of young children in the art of fencing. The past however catches up with him and Endel has to choose between letting his students down or putting his life in danger. The movie is partially based on the real life story of an Estonian fencer Endel Nelis (1925-1993).Written by
Finnish candidate for the best foreign language film in 2016 Academy Awards. See more »
When Endel returns from Russia and steps out of the train, there are 2 camera angles showing the train from both ends. Though there is steam coming beneath of the carriage, there is no locomotive seen. See more »
Looking for a new start while the past is on the tail.
The 2016's Golden Globe nominee and also Finland's submission for the Oscars in the same year, but failed to get into the final five. Produced by the Baltic nations that set in when Estonia was a part of the USSR in the early 50s. It chronicles the story of Endel Nelis, a man who's on the run arrives in a small town called Haapsalu to teach the school children sports.
As his life is in danger, he intends to keep a low profile for a while. But seems everything is turning around him against him when he decides to teach his students fencing. It brings a large attention to the surroundings. Then comes a time where he must confront what he's hiding from which brings an end to the narration with little extended end part that reveals further details about the later event.
"It's good to have them focus on something, keep them occupied. It takes their mind off things."
This is a very short story, but somehow the movie managed to run for the 90 minutes with a good pace. It did not cover the entire life story of Endel Nelis, but a small slice. So you definitely feel desperate to know about his past, but this film does not compromise on that. It has a great background score, and overall it is a very inspiring movie.
The actors were so simple, but very good in their parts. Other than the lead character Endel, the two kids Marta and Jaan were excellent. The romance was as its sub-plot, but the theme was sport so all the concentration on the fencing and nothing else. In a couple of sections it feels so cliché, but since it was based on the real, there's nothing to do about it than accepting it.
Fencing is not a popular sport in the world, so it is good to see a movie about it, but sadly it was not internationally well recognised. Like I said earlier the story was quite small, so I can't describe it in a large scale. I think I said everything I wanted to. In its limitedness the movie was pretty impressive. Not everyone who saw it going to suggest it for you, but it is worth a try.
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