Get us in your inbox

Disco and Atomic War

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Might the heroes of the Cold War actually have been J.R. Ewing and a talking car named Kitt? In this whimsical documentary, director Jaak Kilmi recalls his childhood in 1980s Estonia, when the Soviet government's stranglehold was in rapid decline. Seeds of his and his country's revolution were planted in the 1950s, when neighboring Finland erected a television antenna that transmitted arresting, often risqu images into the Communist bloc. Thus began a years-long virtual back-and-forth: Western decadence versus socialist austerity. And how could any comrade resist the nipple-baring lure of Emmanuelle, beamed on some untraceable wavelength?

Kilmi has great fun showing how he and his friends fell under the spell of the chatty vehicle from Knight Rider---they would talk into their watches whenever they approached a foreign-made car---and how rural Estonian villagers became rabidly obsessed with "Who shot J.R.?" The fancifulness wears out its welcome, though, and you often wish the film would treat its subject with a bit more seriousness. Living behind the Iron Curtain was surely not so lighthearted---even in the company of David Hasselhoff.

See more in Film

Written by Keith Uhlich
You may also like
You may also like