THE LITTLE COMRADE
Moonika Siimets, 2018 | 99 minutes | Drama
Based on the autobiographical novels of Leelo Tungal, The Little Comrade presents the Stalinist occupation of Estonia through the eyes of a 6-year-old girl. When Leelo’s (Helena Maria Reisner) mother is arrested for having “nationalist tendencies” and sent to a prison camp, she tells her daughter to be a good girl as she leaves. This instruction greatly affects Leelo’s comprehension of the adults in her family, and her tumultuous, rapidly changing environment; a point of view that is carefully conveyed through cinematographer Rein Kotov’s thoughtful photography. The feature-length debut of esteemed documentarian and short filmmaker Moonika Siimets, The Little Comrade treats its dark and heavy subject matter with the hope and lightness of a child.