In the Crosswind
Presented by the Consulate General of Estonia
Estonia. Dir. Martti Helde. 2014, 87 mins. With Ingrid Isotamm, Laura Peterson, Mirt Preegel, Einar Hillep, Tarmo Song. This startlingly original “landmark film” (The Hollywood Reporter) recounts one woman’s harrowing, true-life tale of survival in the midst of Stalin’s ethnic cleansing of the Baltic region. June 14, 1941: Erna, a philosophy student, wife, and mother in Soviet-occupied Estonia, is whisked away along with thousands of others to a Siberian labor camp. Based on the diary that Erna wrote while imprisoned, the film evokes Erna’s memories through stunning, monochrome tableaux vivants, immaculately composed cinematic paintings that freeze the characters in time and space. The result is both a visually and emotionally overwhelming experience.