Magazine article Screen International

Cherry Tobacco

Magazine article Screen International

Cherry Tobacco

Article excerpt

Dirs/scr: Katrin & Andres Maimik. Estonia. 2014. 93mins

This Estonian feature from married directing duo Andres and Katrin Maimik is a fragile and often beautiful story of first love set mainly in the gorgeous surroundings of the Estonian countryside. With Andres Maimik already well-established in Estonia as a scriptwriter, journalist and director (with films such as domestic hit mainstream comedy Farts Of Fury) and Katrin Maimik gaining notoriety for her short film Foto, Cherry Tobacco (Kirsitubakas) marks their directing debut as a couple. The film received its World Premiere on Karlovy Vary's East of the West competition.

It's a remarkably chaste affair but there's an undeniable erotic charge that pulses and it results in a genuinely heartfelt and aesthetically beautiful piece of work.

Laura is a young girl living a boring life in a small provincial town. When her best friend asks her to come on a hiking trip, Laura readily agrees hoping to shake off some of the ennui she feels. The trip - led by the rugged and charming fortysomething Joosep - does not begin well with the other members of the hiking party making for some decidedly strange company.

But despite her initial reservations, Laura finds herself falling for the complex Joosep - a man dealing with problems with his personal life. As the trip winds to an end - and Laura and Joosep find themselves alone in each other's company - Laura finds herself at a crossroads in her young life as she begins to experience the joys of first love.

The film blends the tenets of social realism - many of the early hiking scenes have a slight resonance with Mike Leigh's Nuts In May with their brittle moments of comedy - with a pastoral and dreamlike edge (there is some superb work from cinematographer Mihkel Soe) to evoke the hazy and enchanting feeling of falling in love for the first time. …

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