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Eurimages finances controversial film Nazis and Blondes

2007-08-27

"They were young. They were beautiful. They looked like Germans." A film with a logline like that is bound to raise some eyebrows. But the European Council co-production fund Eurimages at its last meeting awarded the documentary project Nazis and Blondes a grant of €28,000 in production support.

The film, directed by debutant Arbo Tammiksaar, looks at the role of Baltic film actors in creating enemy characters in Soviet cinema, not unlike the use of British actors as villains in US films.

Casting Baltic actors as war criminals and lewd seductresses was a widespread practice in post-war Soviet cinema, no doubt partly due to their knowledge of German and personal exposure to Western culture from the pre-war independence years.

During the shooting, the filmmakers organised a get-together of former Soviet Nazi actors. Notably absent from the event was the most famous of them all, the Lithuanian thespian Juozas Budraitis, who has been the Lithuanian cultural attache in Moscow for more than a decade.

Nazis and Blondes, an Estonian-Latvian-Lithuanian coproduction, is the fourth Estonian film funded by Eurimages since the Baltic country joined the organisation in 2004. Made in two versions of 82 minutes for cinemas and 52 minutes for television, the film is scheduled for release in December 2007.

Producers are Estonian Jaak Kilmi, Latvian Askolds Saulītis and Lithuanian Valdas Navasaitis. The production companies are Latvia's Subjektiv Filma of Latvia (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Kuukulgur Film OÜ of Estonia {www.kuukulgur.ee), and VG Studija of Lithuania (www.vgstudija.lt). The film also received support from the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Latvian State Culture Capital Foundation and the Estonian Film Foundation.

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