Director: VEIKO ÕUNPUU
In a rundown sprawling Soviet-era hotel somewhere deep in the heart of Estonia, six misguided characters struggle to make a little sense of their days in this quirky prize-winning ‘dramedy.’
Estonian writer/director Veiko Õunpu’s melancholic comedy of relationships fashions a world in which the collective failures of those among us play like Chekhov’s sad little songs in our hearts. But this situation provides Õunpuu with great humor — like the bored bellhop who spontaneously reenacts Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ video, or the coatroom attendant who scams his way into a conference for free food, and then fi nds himself pontifi cating about true Slavic identity.
As these quietly hysterical moments play out before our eyes, the characters try to fi nd themselves by any means necessary. Meticulous art direction and a subtext suggesting a Baltic refl ection of U.S.S.R. change, Autumn Ball (Sügisball) brings a hard-to-come-by look from an almost-forgotten planet to the festival. Thanks to the the Estonaian Consulate, D.C. for assistance.
ESTONIA • 2007 • 123 MINUTES • DIRECTOR: VEIKO ÕUNPUU