Sound, camera, action — Estonia's cinematic legacy

Source: Ville Hyvönen / CC BY-SA 2.0 /

Sound, camera, action — Estonia's cinematic legacy

Estonia might not be a filming location you've probably heard about, but it's not because there's nothing here to capture. Four seasons and over 800 years of living history give plenty of space to play around with.

There is however a curious film legacy in Estonia. Estonia was under the Soviet Union for latter half of the 20th century and incorporated into the massive Soviet film industry. Directors, such as Andrei Tarkovsky himself, have shot some of their most legendary masterpieces between the walls of local architectural gems.

Kultuurikatel, filming location for "Stalker"

Photo by: Hans Põldoja, (CC BY 2.0)

Tarkovsky's masterpiece "Stalker", well known for its immersive atmosphere, was shot in a former power plant that is now converted into a cultural hub in the trendy Kalamaja neighbourhood. Some of the more popular filming locations in Estonia include the UNESCO featured Tallinn Old Town, a former KGB prison (Patarei) and quaint historical towns and seaside villages. In the Soviet era especially, Tallinn and its old town was a famous filming location due to its unique medieval look. But it's the Estonian nature paths that have received the most local exposure in the past year. "The Wind Sculpted Land" captures a period of three years and 400 days of filming in the wild nature of Estonia.

Perhaps the most famous cinema related figure in Estonia is the composer Arvo Pärt. His compositions have been widely used in international blockbusters such as "Foxcatcher", "There Will Be Blood", "About Time" and in Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron".

Last updated : 29.05.2020