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Sulev Keedus - Somnambuul

As in his film Georgica, the Estonian Sulev Keedus has again created an almost hallucinatory world around his two or three characters, an isolated world that almost feels timeless, or outside time. They exist in a watery world of islands, reeds, and damaged boats but beyond its stark horizons is a world at war. The film is set between 1944 and 1945, and the war and its uncertainty and consequences cast a strong shadow across the film. Sometimes the war occasionally actually intrudes. Eetla, a young woman, seems to want to flee from the terrible dank environment and the isolated cottage that she shares in strange isolation with her father. He pushes her to go, but she comes back. They seem to be stuck here, forced upon each other with only occasional outsiders passing by. She is eaten at by fear: ‘Fear of tomorrow. Anxiety for the unpredictable tomorrow. Where to run?’ says Keedus. A young doctor Kasper comes by, they make love but nothing is clear about their relationship.

A poetic ambiguity is one of the enriching characteristics of this film of dream-like imagery. Somnambulance is a film that lies, as Keedus would wish ‘between being awake and asleep’. If it is a film that is understandable within the tradition of a Sokurov or Tarkovsky, it also marks out Keedus as a distinctive new voice in that universe of the intense and the strange. [S.F.]

Label: International Film Festival Rotterdam / ISBN 90-5849-238-9
Medium: DVD
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