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In the Crosswind


Martti Helde


4 June 1941. Without warning, tens of thousands of people in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were removed from their homes. Without any sort of trial men faced being sent to prison camps and women and children were deported to Siberia.

The aim of this extraordinary operation – carried out on the orders of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin – was to purge the Baltic countries of their native inhabitants.

Erna, happily married and the mother of a young daughter, is sent to Siberia. For her, time takes on another dimension. Fighting starvation and humiliation in inhuman conditions, her soul seeks and finds freedom in the letters she sends to her husband who has been sentenced to prison camp. Even so, the years in Siberia rob Erna of something much more precious than just her youth.

This film is based on a true story and uses extraordinary visual techniques and language to tell the heart-wrenching tale of the fate of thousands of Estonians.


Laura Peterson, Tarmo Song, Mirt Preegel, Ingrid Isotamm, Einar Hillep


Writers: Martti Helde, Liis Nimik; Composer: Pärt Uusberg; Cinematographer: Erik Põllumaa; Editors: Liis Nimik, Tanel Toomsalu


Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Zurich Film Festival, Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Göteborg Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival

Director's Filmography

- Scandinavian Silence, 2019

- Tuult püüdes, short, 2015

- In the Crosswind, 2014

- Superbia, short, 2014

- Külm on, short, 2010

- Päev, mil ma kasvasin, short, 2008

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