“Suffused with gorgeous cinematography,
this sharp-sweet drama is a pleasure to watch.”

– Kate Muir, The Times of London

“Well-acted, smoothly crafted.”
– Justin Chang, Variety

“An affecing portrait of a decent man who risks his life
to uphold a bond of trust with his students.”

– Marilyn Ferdinand, Chicago Reader

GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS
Best Foreign Language Film, Nominee 2016

ACADEMY AWARDS
Best Foreign Language Film, Nominee 2016

JUSSI AWARD
Best Picture, Winner 2016 Best
Cinematography, Winner 2016

SYNOPSIS

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.

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CONTACT

Booking Inquiries:  Jonathan Howell  |  cfireleasing@cafilm.org | 917.400.1437
Publicity:  Shelley Spicer  |  press@cafilm.org  |  415.526.5845

CFI is proud to acknowledge Marin Community Foundation for their generous support of CFI Releasing.