"The Pharmacist" tells the story of a single woman nearing her sixties. She lives in a village where she's been working as a pharmacist for over 30 years. The village's small community considers this straightforward and dignified lady to be a freak whose priorities are first with the rights of animals, and second with her right be a proud lonely woman who devotes herself to cats and books.
Estonian Stories. No Finish Line
The finish line is merely a temporary road sign without any significant meaning. That is how it is with life as well: the fact that it has an end does not necessarily mean that existence has meaning. The finish line is simply a temporary goal that one sets for oneself, or a metaphor for quickly passing existence. Father Peeter, mother Pille and daughter Heleen Vennikas are travelling to Finland to participate in the annual ultra-marathon, which lasts for 24 hours straight. Hundreds of kilometres are covered in one astronomical day in this endurance race full of suffering at an indoor stadium in Espoo.
From side to side
We do not want to be sick. We do not want to be forgotten. That, however, is what the people in this film are. Seven percent of the population of the Republic of Estonia does not have health insurance. There is only one ward with 25 beds in the entire country for their treatment. And the women who care for the seriously ill. Day after day, they have to manage with difficulties, the existence of which nobody want to hear about and even less to see. Yet this film tries to do all this. To see and hear people''s cries for help and the need for closeness.
In the middle of the Gulf of Riga sits the small island of Kihnu, known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant traditions. Kihnu women wear their national costumes even when going about their daily chores. When Meelis and Raili decide to get married, the whole village joins in. Everything starting from a proper proposal is done “according to custom”. During the winter people gather to make colourful skirts, mittens, socks and ribbons, to prepare drinks and fish dishes and to sing. Meelis brings logs from the woods, and on those logs the dance floor will be built come summer.
Watching this amazing film is like watching a play. Everything is based on a sense of community on a small island, on the desire to contribute to documenting an enduring tradition and on the will to make the experience enjoyable. The wedding, 13 years in the waiting, lasts for three days with 300 guests – over half of the island’s inhabitants – taking part. The festivities occur simultaneously at the homes of both the bride and the groom. Vigilantly and flexibly the camera captures the familiar customs and rollicking games. Yet an element of fresh improvisation is constantly present. Vodka and home-brew are served and jokes cracked. Kihnu is said to have such vibrant traditions because it is so secluded. The island is shown as a treasure trove, influenced over the centuries by different cultures, all of wich have left their mark on the cultural heritage of the kihnu people.
Breathing and souls are connected. So connected that when breathing in the same rhythm with somebody, you may meet their soul when you are lucky. For such an encounter, a trusting bridge is needed, which connects a soul to another. If trust is broken, separation follows, first from another person, then from the humanity as a whole. Francesko is the only female chimney sweeper in Estonia. Being a chimney sweeper, she also helps others for their lives to be safe and for their houses to „breathe“. Despite everything, Francesko is a woman taking a special path, trying to find solutions her own way. While the film focuses on the chimney sweeper Francesko, we also get a glimpse of some other characters, whose souls are otherwise unnoticed in the everyday race of life.
The film is to see what becomes of the person as he goes through the process of being the presidential candidate. It focuses not only on the person within the system but on the methods of a resourceful advertising agency to create the desired public image of the candidate and to get the right kind of message out to the public as well.
The New Silk Way
Thanks to its geographical position and common history on the borders with China, Primorje coastal province became an attractive place for large Chinese business community. In order to benefit from the free market as much as possible, Chinese traders hire Russian women, the so-called „pomogajkas” (helping hands), to carry goods through Russian customs and avoid paying taxes. Nadia is 46 years old, brave Russian woman. Left by her husband-to-be 25 years ago, she made her first heroic step when she left Ukraine and moved to the other end of the Soviet Union – Primorje. Only 8 years later, she was all alone to take care of her family as her alcoholic husband left and the collapse of the Soviet Union took her job away. Although she has a university degree in literature, she did not hesitate to become a market saleswoman. Later, she found another job: managing the weekly business round-trips to China. China became the Promised Land for all the „helpers”; a paradise allowing one to escape squalid reality for a wide range of affordable beauty salons, cheap vodka, and men with no special claims. During the 17 years, she has taken more than 1000 trips. Today, circumstances force Nadia to break her „pomogajka” career. She must find someone to replace her, which is why she has to manage a very special trip to China. This film is about crossing all sorts of borders: social, geographical, and political. This film is about the breaking of all types of borders: social, geographical and political.
What blood calls a man to a war, far from home, to fight for a policy critized by the public? Is there a sort of common blood type that unites those who dare to volunteer to go and risk their lives? How to understand a soldier who was wounded in a battle and still wants to go back to war?