March 18 – 29
At Tower City
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Run Time: 97 minutes
Saaremaa, Estonia’s largest island, features unique nature in an isolated location. But insularity is not always picturesque, and LOVE IS BLIND, which is set on the island, is an unforgettably gothic tale of warped relationships and the power of forbidden love. Kertu is a waifish 30-year-old postal carrier who skitters away when approached by her fellow villagers; everybody considers her slow. Her father is a bully, and her sharp-elbowed mother and sister fear his rage. Kertu takes a hesitant step out of her claustrophobic existence by sending postcards with pictures of faraway places to Villu, a degenerate drunk who has slept with all the women in town. His interest piqued, Villu approaches Kertu at a midsummer’s fair. The two disappear overnight, throwing the village into turmoil and rendering them complete outcasts. Finding some escape in the sun-lit rural landscape, Kertu and Villu fight to stay together. Director Ilmar Raag, who grew up on Saaremaa, enhances his portrait with a hauntingly lyrical soundtrack. (In Estonian with subtitles) —B.B.
Ursula Ratasepp, Mait Malmsten, Peeter Tammearu, Külliki Saldre, Leila Säälik
Ilmar Raag is an Estonian media executive and director who has served as CEO of Estonian National Television and is a well-known newspaper columnist. He received an M.A. in Screenwriting from Ohio University.
"The Class" (2007)—32nd CIFF, "A Lady in Paris" (2012), LOVE IS BLIND (2013)
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