Baltic Film Weekend: Estonia

THE FENCER

YEAR: 2015

DIRECTED BY: KLAUS HÄRÖ

RUNTIME: 1h 39m

A new life.
A new beginning.
A secret past.

Fleeing from Stalin’s secret police, an ambitious young fencer finds himself
teaching small town children in a godforsaken Estonian coastal village, only to
realize that this is exactly what he wants to do in life.

A young man, Endel Nelis, arrives in Haapsalu, Estonia, in the early 1950s.
Having left Leningrad to escape the secret police, he finds work as a teacher
and founds a sports club for his students. Endel becomes a father figure to his
students and starts teaching them his great passion – fencing, which causes a
conflict with the school’s principal. Envious, the principal starts investigating
Endel’s background…

Endel learns to love the children and looks after them; most are orphans as a
result of the Russian occupation. Fencing becomes a form of self-expression
for the children and Endel becomes a role model. The children want to participate
in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, and Endel must make a
choice: risk everything to take the children to Leningrad or put his safety first
and disappoint them.

Director Klaus Härö
Script Anna Heinämaa
Cinematography Tuomo Hutri
Music Gert Wilden Jr
Production Designer Jaagup Roomet
Costume Designer Tiina Kaukanen
Editors Tambert Tasuja, Ueli Christen
Producers Kai Nordberg, Kaarle Aho
Coproducer (Estonia) Ivo Felt
Coproducer (Germany) Jörg Bundschuh

Cast

Märt Avandi
Ursula Ratasepp
Lembit Ulfsak
Liisa Koppel