ESTONIA - AFGHANISTAN 67 MIN
What blood calls a man to war? Blood Type is a reflective documentary about professional Estonian soldiers in the Afghan war. The deeply personal revelations of the warriors are woven in with footage of their daily dangers, forming an intimate portrait of the soldiers' day-to-day struggles. Their stressful job and haunting fear to lose their legs echo the destiny of Andrei, who lost his leg in the Afghan war two years ago. Having returned to homeland, Andrei gives his all to reunite with his blood brothers on the battle field despite his disability. What is the spiritual journey of a soldier? What kind of responsibility does he have to his brothers in arms, his family, and the locals? By showing the cooperation between Estonians and Afghans, the film is looking for the imprint that might be left behind once the international forces have been withdrawn from the distant Afghanistan.
An independent Estonian film director. She graduated from the Baltic Film and Media School in 2009, and made several short-fiction movies before and during her studies (Personal Space 2005, Hope Dies Last 2006, Oli 2004, Class Reunion 2007, etc.). Her latest short fiction film is Taxi Driver (2013).
Back in 2008 as a human rights activist in The Amnesty International Estonian group Leeni was involved in research in Dharamsala, India, and through interviews with Tibetan refugee children there she made her previous documentary The Messenger, her début as a documentary film director. At the moment, Leeni studies documentary filmmaking in the master's programme of the Baltic Film and Media School, directing the documentary film Blood Type as her master's thesis.
Leeni has also worked as a director, editor, producer and scriptwriter for various TV shows and film projects.
At the moment Leeni is preparing her first feature film Soldier Mother, a film about mother who lost her son in Afghanistan, but refuses to believe it and decides to go to Afghanistan in search of him.
We started filming in 2010, when I first met Andrei and was intrigued by his ambitious dream to return to the battlefield in which he was wounded. In order to understand Andrei’s yearning I started thinking if there was a common blood type to the men who voluntarily risk their lives share and fight for politics criticized by the public.
In the winter of 2012 me and my crew went to Afghanistan, to be imbedded with the Estonian troops for a month. I wanted to give more personal approach to the subject and not to over-emphasize the action common to war-films. Therefore we followed soldiers on stressful patrols and shot several intimate talks on their spare moments in a self-made sauna. A young gunner Eku on his first mission opens up about his fear to lose his legs. A senior technician Jaan, whose wife just sent him to his fifth mission, confesses his true thoughts and feelings about the war and losing his fellow soldiers. We also look into the soldiers’ work with local people, negotiations with village leaders, to understand the mutual trust between Afghans and soldiers. I believe that this film will allow us to identify with the essence and duties of men, who only follow orders and are hardly entitled to have an opinion of their own.
Main Competition 2015