Big Dipper

Executive producers, Raimond Felt, Jean-Pierre Dekiss.

Executive producers, Raimond Felt, Jean-Pierre Dekiss.

Directed by Peeter Simm. Screenplay, Simm, Agu Tammeveski, Hans-Werner Honert. Camera (color), Ago Ruus; editor, Claude Reznik; music, Tonu Raadik; production design, Tiiu Ubu; costume design, Mare Raidma; sound (Dolby), Enn Sade; assistant director, Ly Puck. Reviewed at Hungarian Film Week, Budapest, Feb. 8, 1995. Running time: 96 MIN.

Sass … Tonu Kark

Sirje … Kart Kross

Ruth … Maria Avdjusko

Gishivilli … Herardo Contreras

Albert … Kalji Kiisk

Ahandsomely produced, but very obscure, satire on the activities of Estonian gangsters in the post-Communist era, “Big Dipper” has plenty of visual flair and some delightful sequences, but the local allusions will be lost on most international audiences.

Pic revolves around Sass (Tonu Kark), who seems to have been exiled from his native country since he was a child and who has lately been in prison. In the first of many inexplicable scenes, he’s suddenly released, given $ 1 million in U.S. bank notes plus a high-powered rifle, and sent home. He’s determined to spend his mysteriously acquired wealth on building a roller-coaster to entertain the local children, but before achieving his goal is faced with plenty of semi-comical problems, including, at one point, losing all his cash in the sewer system.

Performances are lively and production values handsome, but director and co-scripter Peeter Simm has made a satire that, to the uninitiated at least, is rarely funny and too often maddeningly incomprehensible.

Big Dipper

(ESTONIAN-FRENCH-HUNGARIAN)

Production: A Lege Artis Film (Tallinn), 47th Parallel Films (Paris)/Budapest Filmstudio (Budapest) co-production. Produced by Ferenc Kardos, Pal Egri.

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