Late 1930’s, Tallinn, Republic of Estonia. Late evening/night. Wedding music, an accordion playing. The Estonian flag is flying. Roland and Rosalie are among the guests celebrating Juudit and Edgar’s wedding. Juudit and Edgar have retired to their bedroom, and are lying in bed on their wedding night. Juudit’s wedding dress is on a hanger, over the cupboard door. Outside, Roland spins Rosalie into a dance.
It’ll be our turn next.
That’s right! We can have Edgar take our wedding photograph in his new studio!
Cousin Edgar certainly got lucky. That’s some wedding gift, and from his in-laws! (spinning Rosalie away from the crowd) But never mind the pictures, I can’t wait to see you in a wedding dress. (running his hands over her hips)
Rosalie (removing his hands)
Roland, hold your horses now! (she runs off laughing)
Roland (running after her)
I can’t! You’re enough to drive a fellow wild!
In the bedroom, Juudit has started crying. Edgar springs out of the bed and begins dressing hurriedly.
What have I done wrong?
She jumps up out of bed, goes after Edgar. She forces his hand onto her breast, Edgar pulls it away. He tries to pull his jacket on, pulls away from Juudit.
Answer me. What have I done wrong?
Edgar heads for the door.
No, don’t go! I’ll do anything, anything you want! You can’t just go, this is our wedding night! (ripping off her nightdress) You used to say you couldn’t wait for tonight, so what is it!
Edgar walks out and closes the door behind him. Juudit throws a shoe at the door.
What’s wrong with me!
Edgar crosses the yard to the water pump and frenziedly starts pumping water and washing. Roland enters running, looking for Rosalie. Seeing Edgar, he stops.
What’s the matter?
I… (startled, he stops washing) She…
Edgar, for some women, the first time can be scary. Just give Juudit time. She’ll be all right.
Roland, come and get me!
Roland chases after her.
SCREEN: propaganda footage and newsreel of the Soviet occupation in 1940-41, followed by the early stages of Nazi Germany’s invasion, images of people rejoicing and banners – pictures of old Soviet leaders being eagerly destroyed and replaced by ones of Hitler, Liberator-posters.
1941, village of Taara, Estland, Ostland. Juudit is visiting Rosalie, gathering jars of lard into a ply-wood case and a box, placing a bottle of moonshine into a belt designed to be concealed under her clothing.
Juudit (about the bottle)
You can’t see anything, can you?
No. Was the travel permit expensive?
Don’t even ask. Listen let’s leave out a couple of jars of chicken-meat. The box looks so full I’ll never get it past the checkpoint. And maybe take out the chocolate too. The bottle will have to do.
Translated from Finnish into English by Eva Buchwald