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"Ranking as Estonia's biggest domestic box office success, Elmo Nuganen's gritty war epic " provides a harsh perspective on the country's painful 20th-century history."
"Breaking box office records back home, Estonia's official Academy Awards entry in the Best Foreign Language Film race is a handsome World War II drama. . . . Director Elmo Nuganen . . . shows a flair for grand-scale spectacle in his polished second feature."
– The Hollywood Reporter,
Estonia's official Oscar submission and a mega-hit on home turf, 1944 centers on the bloodiest battle on World War II's Eastern Front. Estonian soldiers find themselves torn between two mighty powers with some heading towards the Red Army and others finding themselves pledging allegiance to the Waffen SS. Each has their own reasons for choosing their sides they do â€“ some believe in a better future for their beloved Estonia, others are simply trying to survive a war. But the stage is set for a conflict in which countryman battling countryman and brother fighting brother becomes a painful inevitability. From director Elmo Nüganen â€“ the creative director of Tallinn City Theatre and one of the stars of the Academy Award nominated TANGERINES â€“ 1944 is a thrilling and emotional war story that shows the hopes, aims and drama of the Estonian men caught between two forces as objectively as possible. The film stars a crop of young Estonian actors such as Kristjan Ãœksküla alongside some of the country's most established stars including Gert Raudsep (CHERRY TOBACCO) and Mait Malmsten (KERTU).