We tell the stories of people who came to Estonia during the Soviet time to work on the Dvigatel factory. These workers were allocated an allotment for growing vegetables near the factory. They soon started to plant their crops, build small summerhouses and trade allotments with each other. The story of their allotment gardens is an allegory of the fall of the Soviet Union, as seen through their eyes.The owners of the allotments all have different ethnic origins, and today hold passports of different former Soviet states.The lives of the owners of the illegal allotments are inextricably linked to the land that they cultivate. Earlier this year, the Estonian government signed a contract with the Tallinn airport to clean up areas around the airport in order to build new runways. The allotments are located right next to the borders of the airport. The airport’s expansion plans call for all the plots within 1 kilometer of the border to be bulldozed. The process is scheduled to start this fall. The Estonian press has told the gardeners that this year’s crop is the last one they will ever raise. In only a few days, the last pages of Soviet history will be turned. Progress is knocking on the door of history. We can almost hear the sound of “the trees being cut”, like at the end of Anton Chekhov’s "Cherry Orchard". Watch out, the past! The bulldozers are coming...
Nadezhda Atayeva is a singer. She writes her own songs and performs them on the streets of Tallinn, earning a living for her family. And a large family it is, with nine children and one grandchild. Nadezhda’s husband is an unemployed evangelical preacher, and Nadezhda herself is also a devout believer in Jesus Christ. Life in today’s Estonia gets very expensive indeed. The large family rents an old, run-down house. One day, they find an ad – a new house is available for rent, and for less money! With the move comes a hope for a new, better life. The children start making plans for the future, as everyone packs their belongings into black trash bags and loads them into the vehicles. The house is beautiful and clean, and the children are happy… But it soon becomes clear that the new dream home is less than perfect: the heating does not work, and it is ill-suited to a large family such as this. It may feature a fireplace room, a living room and a gym, but there are no bedrooms for the children. The singing mother stands all alone, performing in a pedestrian underpass, while people walk by, ignoring her. Why did you have all those children in the first place, if you can’t feed them? We follow the life of the mother of nine, a classic observation of events, set to the protagonist’s own songs.