An animated documentary about a dream that eventually comes true in a film.
A 10-year old girl longed for a puppy as a birthday present. Her dissappointment was great when instead of a puppy she got a father she didn’t know existed. This documentary based on a true story tells us about a dream of a man that kept him alive through many years of suffering and will only come true now in this film.
Director: Ülo Pikkov
Design: Anu-Laura Tuttelberg
Producer: Studio Nukufilm
Stop motion, 9 min
Empty Space invokes a past memory, an apartment that once existed, and a small girl dwelling and playing there. It presents a story forged in the dreams of the father hiding from Soviet terror. Empty Space is a reconstruction of a vision on the backdrop of the anxieties of the 1950s in Soviet Union– the aftermath of the war, the mass deportations, the forced collectivization, the ambushing of the Forest Brothers.
In 1944, Leonhard Lina (1914–1994), a former officer of Estonian Defence Forces, went into hiding to avoid capture and imprisonment. Trapped in a small hollow in the double ceiling of a potato storage and longing for his home, he built a miniature replica of it. He crafted altogether 217 tiny pieces of furniture and household items. The doll furniture was meant as a present for his daughter, Merike, whom he’d been forced to leave only a few months after her birth. Using whatever materials he could get, Leonhard made for her a perfect copy of their former apartment. Merike was already 10 years old when she finally got her present, after Leonhard received a message that he is not being accused of anything and can come out of hiding. By that time, Leonhard had been underground for 10 years.
The sets of the film use Leonhard Lina’s original doll furniture and a puppet fashioned after Merike’s childhood photos. Empty Space draws on interviews with Leonhard Lina’s daughter Merike.