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“Something fresh... a tender coming-of-age story from Estonia.” - Variety

Based on a book by Estonian novelist Olavi Ruitlane, On the Water is a coming-of-age tale set in rural Soviet Estonia during the early 1980s. Andres is a sensitive teenager raised by his strict grandparents in a small town. Lacking friends his own age and bullied at school, Andres finds friendship among the drunks, sex-workers and thieves who are his neighbours. Among them are the rough but sensible recidivist Valter, a former prisoner, and the hapless fisherman Kolla. 

This sweet, and sometimes bawdy, dramedy about the awkwardness of adolescence is about friendship, first love, loss and self-discovery. The larger-than-life characters and occasional risqué humour evoke both the Hollywood teen films and European mainstream hits of the 1980s and 1990s, but at its heart this is a warm and humorous story of caring, humanity and love. 

Estonia’s submission for the Best International Feature Film Academy Award. 

Rating

E

Duration

107

Country

Estonia

Language

Estonian (English subtitles)

Cast

Rasmus Ermel, Marko Matvere, Aarne Soro, Aurora Aleksandra Künnapas Maria Klenskaja, Kaljo Orro, Hilje Murel, Liisa Aibel, Terje Pennie, Anne Reeman jt.

Director

Peeter Simm

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