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  • Author: Riho Västrik x
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Abstract

This article investigates how director Valeria Anderson constructed heroes in the documentaries she directed between 1960 and 1985. It also asks how far one could go with social criticism in the post-Stalinist/pre-Perestroika era, how pointed the revelations of economic disorder could be, and what rank of leadership could be blamed for the occurrences of these problems. The article concentrates on the documentaries made by Valeria Anderson that depict positive heroes sacrificing their personal interests for the good of the homeland. The narratives are examined by using discourse analysis.

Abstract

This article aims to find out how Soviet Estonian documentaries constructed the national discourse in the 1960s, by focusing on the case of the 10-minute documentary Ruhnu (1965) by Andres Sööt. Ruhnu was the first Soviet Estonian documentary released after World War II that romanticised Estonian nationalism. In order to narrate the national ideals considered undesirable by the official ideology, the Soviet Estonian filmmakers often chose to portray characters embedded in the national consciousness as archetypal heroes from pre-Soviet times and the landscapes associated with them. In the desire for past times, national heroes and idealised landscapes were constructed and naturalised in a contemporary context. The article raises the question - what kind of heroes, landscapes and activities were used to construct the national identity and which elements of film language were used? The research method used, critical discourse analysis, allows us to analyse the archetypes created in the documentary and the archetypal landscapes used as a framework for the narrative.