Make Love at War? Representing Gender and Memory in the Soviet Estonian Film Dark Windows (Pimedad aknad, Tõnis Kask, 1968)

Open access

Abstract

Initially produced in 1968 as a three-part TV miniseries, and restored and re-edited in 2008 as a feature-length film, Dark Windows (Pimedad aknad, Tõnis Kask, Estonia) explores interpersonal relations and everyday life in September 1944, during the last days of Estonia’s occupation by Nazi Germany. The story focuses on two young women and the struggles they face in making moral choices and falling in love with righteous men. The one who slips up and falls in love with a Nazi is condemned and made to feel responsible for the national decay. This article explores how the category of gender becomes a marker in the way the film reconstructs and reconstitutes the images of ‘us’ and ‘them’. The article also discusses the re-appropriation process and analyses how re-editing relates to remembering of not only the filmmaking process and the wartime occupation, but also the Estonian women and how the ones who ‘slipped up’ are later reintegrated into the national narrative. Ultimately, the article seeks to understand how this film from the Soviet era is remembered as it becomes a part of Estonian national filmography.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Anonymous 1967. ‘Filmitegijate töömailt’. – Sirp ja Vasar 15 September.

  • Attwood Lynne 1993. ‘Women Cinema and Society’. – Lynne Attwood (ed.) Red Women on the Silver Screen: Soviet Women and Cinema from the Beginning to the End of the Communist Era. London: Pandora Press 19–124.

  • Baraban Elena 2007. ‘The Fate of a Man by Sergei Bondarchuk and the Soviet Cinema of Trauma’. – The Slavic and East European Journal 51 3 514–534.

  • Edgerton Gary R. 2001. ‘Introduction: Television as Historian. A Different Kind of History Altogether’. – Gary R. Edgerton Peter C. Rollins (eds.) Television Histories: Shaping Collective Memory in the Media Age. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky 1–16.

  • Eriksen Thomas Hylland 2017. ‘Sex Violence and Nationalism’. – Ethnic and Racial Studies 40 9 1438–1449.

  • Erll Astrid; Wodianka Stephanie 2008. Film und kulturelle Erinnerung. Plurimediale Konstellationen. Berlin: de Gruyter.

  • Hall Stuart 1997. ‘The Work of Representation’. – Stuart Hall (ed.) Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: Sage Publications 13–74.

  • Hinrikus Rutt 2006. Sõja ajal kasvanud tüdrukud. Eesti naiste mälestused Saksa okupatsioonist. Tallinn: Tänapäev.

  • Hinrikus Rutt 2009. ‘Naised ja sõda eesti naiste mälestustes ja kirjanduses.’ – Jaan Ross Arvo Krikann (eds.) Teadusmõte Eestis 5. Humanitaarteadused. Tallinn: Eesti Teaduste Akadeemia 107–118.

  • Iarskaia-Smirnova Elena; Romanov Pavel 2014. ‘Heroes and Spongers: The Iconography of Disability in Soviet Posters and Film’. – Michael Rasell Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova (eds.) Disability in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: History Policy and Everyday Life. New York: Routledge 67–96.

  • Jõesalu Kirsti 2017. Dynamics and Tension of Remembrance in Post-Soviet Estonia: Late Socialism in the Making. Dissertationes Ethnologiae Universitatis Tartuensis 6. Tartu: University of Tartu Press.

  • Jõesalu Kirsti; Kõresaar Ene 2013. ‘Continuity or Discontinuity: On the Dynamics of Remembering “Mature Socialis” in Estonian Post-Soviet Remembrance Culture.’ – Journal of Baltic Studies 44 2 177–203.

  • Judt Tony 2005. Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945. New York: The Penguin Press.

  • Käosaar-Kurvet Leena 2018. ‘Travelling Memory and Memory of Travel in Estonian Women’s Deportation Stories’. – Melanie Illic (ed.) The Palgrave Handbook of Women and Gender in Twentieth-Century Russia and the Soviet Union. London: Palgrave Macmillan 183–198.

  • Kärk Lauri 2010. ‘“Viimne reliikvia” ja “Valgus Koordis”. Žanrifilmist žanrifilmini II’. – Teater. Muusika. Kino 2 106–117.

  • Kirss Tiina Ann 2006. ‘Mälujäljed ja tõlgendamisvõimalused. Eestlaste elulood Saksa okupatsiooni ajast’. – Vikerkaar 4–5 136–149.

  • Kivimaa Katrin 2001. ‘Naine rahvusliku mõtte ja tunde kujundina 19. sajandi teise poole eesti kunstis’. – Ariadne Lõng 1–2 59–69.

  • Kõresaar Ene 2005. Elu ideoloogiad. Kollektiivne mälu ja autobiograafiline minevikutõlgendus eestlaste elulugudes. Tartu: Eesti Rahva Muuseum.

  • Kõresaar Ene 2016. ‘Life Story as Cultural Memory: Making and Mediating Baltic Socialism since 1989’. – Journal of Baltic Studies 47 4 1–19.

  • Kulli Jaanus 2008. ‘Pimedad aknad sai tagasi keelatud kaadrid’. – Õhtuleht 16 February.

  • Liebrand Claudia 2003. Gender-Topographien. Kulturwissenschaftliche Lektüren von Hollywoodfilmen der Jahrhundertwende. Köln: DuMont.

  • Lõhmus Jaak 2012. Kaadris 20 April. https://arhiiv.err.ee/vaata/kaadris-pimedad-aknad (22 September 2018).

  • Maimik Andres 1999. ‘“Hullumeelsus” – modernistlik üksiklane 1960. aastate Eesti mängufilmis’. – Teater. Muusika. Kino 11 85–88.

  • McClintock Anne 1993. ‘Family Feuds: Gender Nationalism and the Family’. – Feminist Review 44 61–80.

  • McClintock Anne 1995. Imperial Leather: Race Gender and Sexualities in the Colonial Contest. London: Routledge.

  • Nagel Joane 1998. ‘Masculinity and Nationalism: Gender and Sexuality in the Making of Nations’. – Ethnic and Racial Studies 21 2 242–269.

  • Näripea Eva 2012. ‘National Space (Trans)National Cinema: Estonian Film in the 1960s’. – Aniko Imre (ed.) A Companion to Eastern European Cinema. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell 244–264.

  • Palli Ilmar 2012. ‘Filmiaasta 100. “Kaadris” ja “Filmi-ilm”‘. – Maaleht 24 March. http://maaleht.delfi.ee/news/maaleht/elu/filmiaasta-100-kaadris-jafilmi-ilm?id=64103565 (22 September 2018).

  • Panso Voldemar 1969. ‘Filmitoodangust 1968. aastal ja meie uutest ülesannetest’. – Sirp ja Vasar 7 and 14 March.

  • Penkwitt Meike 2006. ‘Erinnern und Geschlecht’. – Freiburger Frauen Studien 1 19 1–26.

  • Peterson Spike V. 1999. ‘Political Identities/Nationalism as Heterosexism’. – International Feminist Journal of Politics 1 1 34–65.

  • Petersoo Pille 2007. ‘Reconsidering Otherness: Constructing Estonian Identity’. – Nations and Nationalism 13 1 117–133.

  • Põldsaar Raili 2009. ‘Isamaa ja mehemeel. Mehelikkuse ideoloogiad ja rahvuslik identiteet’. – Ariadne Lõng 1–2 63–75.

  • Rigney Ann 2018. ‘Remembrance as Remaking: Memories of the Nation Revisited’. – Nations and Nationalism 24 2 240–257.

  • Schwarz Anja; Müller Lucia Sabine 2008. ‘Einleitung. Iterationen. Geschlecht im kulturellen Gedächtnis’. – Querelles. Jahrbuch für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung 13 7–28.

  • Šein Hagi 2005. Suur teleraamat. 50 aastat televisiooni Eestis 1955–2005. Tallinn: TEA Kirjastus.

  • Steans Jill 2010. ‘Revisionist Heroes and Dissident Heroines: Gender Nation and War in Soviet Films of “the Thaw”‘. – Global Society 24 3 401–419.

  • Tamm Marek 2018. ‘Rahvuste tegemine. Humanitaarteaduslik vaade’. – Keel ja Kirjandus 1–2 15–29.

  • Uibo Kalju 1968. ‘Pimedad aknad’. – Sirp ja Vasar 19 April.

  • Wenk Silke 2000. ‘Gendered Representations of the Nation’s Past and Future’. – Ida Blom Kare Hagemann Catherine Hall (eds.) Gendered Nations: Nationalisms and Gender Order in the Long Nineteenth Century. Oxford: Berg Publishers 63–77.

  • Youngblood Denise J. 2001. ‘A War Remembered: Soviet Films of the Great Patriotic War’. – American Historical Review 106 3 839–856.

  • Yuval-Davis Nira 1993. ‘Gender and Nation’. – Ethnic and Racial Studies 16 4 621–632.

  • Yuval-Davis Nira 1997. Gender and Nation. London: Sage Publications.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 93 93 4
PDF Downloads 77 77 11