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Ilmar Raag: A major motion picture would fix world's perception of Estonian history

The renowned Estonian film critic and Chairman of the Board of Estonian Television, Ilmar Raag, drawing on several successful examples, has outlined a vision of helping to create a certain image of Estonia by internationally successful Hollywood film. This is the right medium to reach the largest possible audience, he believes, also suggesting that to maximize the effect, one could conceal bits of information in the story, so as to shape the audience's attitudes without their awareness. In order to make the little countrys voice heard in the world, it is obligatory for the film-makers to abandon local actors and local language, which have proven to be an impediment to international distribution, says Raag. He refers to several high-quality Finnish language films on Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939/40 which failed to break through to the world market. It sounds cynical indeed, Raag admits, and yet, "if we definitely want our version of our history to be heard in the world, we shouldn't be so much concerned about the messenger as long as the message gets delivered". The reality is that the inclusion of even a few celebrities attracts wider audience. A good cast deserves, of course, a good screenplay, in which the story line of Estonian issue would merely provide seasoning for the main story. One of the hindrances to such an idea is lack of funding, in light of which making even a single film seems utopian, let alone bringing similar issue up in another film in a while, as communication theory suggests.
2005-01-11 10:30:32