In the Crosswind (2014) Movie Script

I received your letter.
I'm in our homeland.
As the summer began
it seemed like the best one ever.
Our wild apple tree
that grew in the middle of the field
was covered with a white carpet,
as if to hide its few leaves
with blossoms.
That ever so delicate
smell of the blossoms
is in my nostrils to this day.
These delicious morning smells...
The voices of you
and our little Eliide...
Those haven't changed.
I see in my mind's eye
how you looked at me.
How you gently stroked my cheek
with your hand
and tied a ribbon around my waist.
I can still hear your words,
that this will keep us together forever.
That you will keep us.
Under your protective wing.
That we are free.
But what is freedom worth, Heldur?
I hope my letter finds you.
Eliide is weak from the heat here
but otherwise we're doing well.
There are wives
of other Defence League men here.
We're sticking together.
When we crossed Estonia's border,
the Church bell rang,
did you hear it?
It was for a funeral.
I wondered if somebody really was
on their last journey just then
or they rung those bells for us.
Then someone in the cattle car took up
the song Estonia, Your Manly Courage.
Then everyone in the other
cattle cars joined in.
Heldur, that was...
the most powerful chorus.
Straight from the heart...
In that dark cattle car,
the women on the top bunks are our eyes.
Those narrow windows
are like a frame
that transforms our homeland
receding into a painting
that is beyond our reach.
Many of us think
this is all one big mistake.
One woman, Hermiine,
overheard Russian guards
saying that war had broken out.
If that's true,
we'll be back home soon...
That same woman, Hermiine,
shared her bread with us,
as ours remained in your luggage.
I can not comprehend,
what evil have we
simple people
done to enormous Russia?
One regime can't rob thousands
of all they believe in
and love.
I sent you a letter through the gap
in the window of our cattle car.
And then we got word that
the cattle cars were uncoupled...
That you went in another direction...
Surely, you are already
trying to find your way to us.
Today is July 9th.
We were in the cattle cars for 26 days
and nobody could get undressed
or wash themselves the whole time.
Those weeks on rails
robbed Eliide of her health.
She came down with dysentery.
She's weak, keeps asking for you.
I traded your trousers
for milk in a village.
We'll get you new ones
when we get home.
We travelled by river
for another 4 days and nights.
And then about another 60 km northwards
by foot convoyed by armed guards.
With Hermiine,
we've been housed 3 km away
from the village, in a solitary mud hut.
As punishment.
That's what they said.
We intervened
when the chairman of the local kolkhoz
beat a boy from Tartu.
We're in their bad books now.
In the evening,
they held some sort of a meeting.
We were lectured
on what we can and can't do.
Tomorrow we'll be assigned to work.
Whoever doesn't work
won't be given any bread.
Of the 51 women and children
in our cattle car,
42 made it here...
Last night,
one woman took her own life...
her own and her child's.
Is death really easier
than what awaits us?
time has taken on another dimension.
The temporary has passed.
We measure time
by the news that reaches us.
That way the days and weeks
seem shorter.
Eliide is feeble.
She hasn't been able
to get out of bed for over a month.
Her legs are swollen from starvation.
We get 200 g of bread,
about a handful,
for doing lumberjack work.
That's our daily ration.
Sometimes they give us flour.
But only if we fulfil our work quota.
There's no bread for children.
showed me where the bread is kept.
I asked Eliide a week ago
what she would want as a present
for her birthday.
Eliide replied. A loaf of bread.
I asked her what she would want
if she had enough to eat.
Heldur, she started crying
and still said
a loaf of bread...
Constant hunger doesn't let her
dream of anything other than food.
We have to register at the village
militia station every two weeks.
So they check to see
that we haven't run away.
Some people who don't have children
have tried to escape.
They've all been brought back
and punished.
We're prisoners of nature...
I wonder if there have ever been
any prisoners
with so much space
that you long for boundaries.
...breach of the military power
of the USSR,
its independence
or territorial integrity
by espionage, betraying
military or state secrets.
Defection to the enemies side,
escaping abroad.
Sentenced to execution by shooting,
together with the confiscation
of the whole property
or the deprivation of liberty
for 10 years
together with the confiscation
of the whole property.
Please forgive me, Heldur.
The local chairman summoned me
to the kolkhoz office on Sunday.
He put the slice of bread
on his table.
The one I had stolen for Eliide.
And some vodka...
I had to choose...
to be taken further north
to drink vodka with him, and...
Heldur, it's like we're living
in darkness here.
And lots of things are done differently
in the dark than in daylight.
Tell me, Heldur, is there a word...
A widow is a woman
who loses her husband.
An orphan
is a child who loses its parents.
But who is a mother
who loses her child?
That feeling doesn't deserve a word.
The weather is so gloomy.
The clouds hide the sun...
And I long to go for a walk.
My steps always lead
to where the locals peel birch bark.
So that the white trunks
have become black.
How those sooty trees still grow...
In that rich fertilised soil.
Hermiine said I shouldn't go
to the woods alone any more.
Where should one go
after being robbed
of everything they believe in and love?
I'm left with Hermiine,
and other Estonians.
I'm left with you, Heldur.
I often see you in my dreams.
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of you
among the trees when I'm out logging.
Sometimes in the gaze of strangers,
in the darkness of the room.
This year when we secretly celebrated
Christmas Eve behind covered windows,
an Estonian man
arrived in our village.
That gave everyone new hope.
Me as well.
I promise, Heldur,
that when I'm released,
I will find you.
Wherever you may be.
Tell me, where are you?
Each evening turns
everything around me
to a dim, dull,
black and white picture.
The sky also exchanges blue
for pitch black.
And I journey home
in my dreams.
I had a dream at night.
It was spring
and we were in our orchard.
Pruning apple tree branches.
You were up in a tree
and asked, this one,
and pointed at it with the saw.
But I pointed, no, that other one.
You sat on a three-pronged branch
and laughed.
At yourself and me.
But then suddenly you were gone.
I ran under the tree,
but you weren't there anymore.
I called out,
and you called out in response.
But from up in another tree.
I ran to it but you weren't there.
And then suddenly
it was already summer.
And I still ran and called out
but only the wind blew
and the leaves rustled.
You weren't anywhere.
I was spent and started crying.
Your saw was on the ground.
I wanted to pick it up
but then you suddenly jumped out
from behind a tree
and laughed, pushing me down.
And I shouted
that you can't do that ever again,
you can't disappear.
But you just laughed.
And I told you to let go.
But inside I didn't want you to.
You started kissing me
and you kissed all my tears away
and I asked if they were salty,
but you said they're sweet instead.
Like drops of apple juice.
Your head lay on my breast
and I promised myself
that I'd never let you go
so that you wouldn't disappear again.
But you untied my dress and...
And then the apples were already ripe.
We were lying on the ground
with ripe apples all around.
Suddenly a branch full of apples
snapped under its weight.
And I said to you, see,
the trees weren't pruned because of you.
Why did you have to disappear?
You asked me not to be cross,
sighed and smiled.
Heldur, I think I've never even told you
that you have a beautiful smile.
But then you didn't say anything
And when I looked in your direction
you weren't there anymore.
It was autumn instead.
Damp and dark.
I stood under the apple tree alone.
Under our wild apple tree
that grows in the middle of our field.
I woke up
and shivered.
Heldur, I promise
that whatever the future brings,
I won't ever be cross with you.
Where are you, Heldur?
Come already, let's go home...
Dear Heldur,
the years after the end of the war
haven't brought the changes
we hoped for.
Even though deep down
everyone is still homesick,
we now live more in the present
of the days given to us.
We've learned to get along even with
those we don't want to associate with.
I have tried to walk the line, too.
Relations and connections count.
Even more than the little money.
Most of the women
are looking for the security
of being under the protective wing
of the chairman of the kolkhoz.
You can't fault them for that.
I've fulfilled all my work quotas,
even more than what's required.
I manage pretty well.
They lined up the best workers
in the rajon's wall newspaper.
They left my name out.
Apparently it's not customary to print
enemies of the people on paper.
Our brigade leader got so mad,
swore to set things right
at rajon headquarters.
He came back
with his tail between his legs.
Still he praised me for my work
and promised to keep me in mind
when they hand out bonuses.
I can use that little something, too.
I've been waiting for months already
for an answer
to my request for information
about you.
We hear that as long as Stalin is
in power, we won't get away from here.
But I promise that...
when I get permission, I'll find you.
I think about you constantly.
you've been released
and you're somewhere...
in the expanses of Siberia and...
Many Estonians here
have started new families.
I don't wish to do that.
I'm thinking about...
our little Eliide.
Those days haunt me.
The days before they took us away.
Those last days in our homeland.
I'm haunted by that decision that I made
on behalf of the rest of our family.
It seems that the years have taken
everything else with them...
I still think of those letters
we sent to our relatives.
I'm looking
at our free wild apple tree now.
The hay around it is chest-high.
Its branches no longer
look towards the sky.
Instead they droop towards the ground.
Does it long to enter the soil
where its roots are hidden
or does it still hope
to burst into bloom?
If people look like their choices
then tell me, Heldur,
who do I look like,
that I took the two of you the chance
to see those blossoms once again?
Who do I look like
that I thought it was right
not to flee across the sea.
The courage to believe
that we wouldn't be taken away...
The courage to stay home.
The loveliest years of my life
passed as if standing still.
Regretting that we didn't flee
when we had the chance,
holding all our lives to ransom.
we finally got a few days off
at the beginning of March.
We fulfilled our work quotas
ahead of time to earn it.
Hermiine now belongs
to the chairman of the kolkhoz,
they got married.
He proposed to many of us,
me, too.
Finally, Hermiine agreed.
We got to hear music and laughter
for the first time in ages.
There are others besides Hermiine
and the chairman
who have found each other.
It's easier together.
People need one another.
Regardless of the times we live in.
Fortune has smiled on me as well.
I was able to ask
for a month's wages in advance
since I had exceeded my work quota,
and they gave it to me.
And I bought myself a cow.
Heldur, now I have my own
milk and butter on the table.
I even have enough to sell some.
You're probably thinking
how can I manage with a cow.
But I've learned to do
all kinds of jobs here.
My heart is filled with joy
that I don't have to ask around
the village for milk anymore.
Everyone came to see the cow
when she was brought to my yard.
The men from our brigade helped
to bring her over.
How she studied me
with her big eyes...
She surely didn't understand my joy.
Hermiine got the chairman,
I got a cow.
At the wedding reception,
the Estonian women joked
that mine is more purebred.
And they predicted that
our life together will be easier...
With a great sorrow
we announce to the Party
and all the working people
of the Soviet Union,
that on 5. March at 9.50 pm,
following a serious illness,
the chairman of the Council
of Ministers of the USSR,
and the secretary of the Central
Committee of the Communist Party,
Josif Vissarionovich Stalin,
has passed away.
We will not forget him.
He will remain in our hearts forever
as a token of our gratitude
for that eternal bliss
that we, the Soviet people,
have had the good fortune
to experience first
in the history of mankind.
All the people of the world
are jealous of us for that.
We swear to bear
with honour and forever
the standards of Lenin and Stalin
and to save the peoples
of the rest of the world
so that they could enjoy
the same good fortune
that we enjoy here.
And the whole world
will become one big family.
These years after Stalin's death
have brought us changes
that we longed for.
The chairman of our kolkhoz
was sent to the far north
as punishment.
Since he married
an enemy of the people.
And also because
he used Stalin's plaster bust
as a hat stand.
Word in the village was that they'd been
looking for an excuse for a long time.
Hermiine was sent to a labour camp...
I really don't understand
what kind of country this is.
This autumn they've started sending us
back to our homeland little by little.
They're gradually
issuing passports as well.
Since I was in the good books
in our brigade,
I also received
official permission to go.
Heldur, this happiness
about being released
is greater
than we could have imagined.
Our standard of living is different
now than it was recently.
We get paid for our work
and most of us have a plot of land.
Now there is food on the table
and there's enough to sell to others.
Some people have been sent packages
from our homeland.
Regardless of all that has happened,
we now feel as if we're... at home.
Quite a few Estonians
have decided to stay...
So that...
and fathers
could share the same soil...
Heldur, I promised myself
when I arrived here that...
that I would find you.
But how have these years changed you?
What do you look like?
you're standing beside me
right here in the railway station
and I don't recognise you.
Tell me where I should look for you?
In the soil under my feet
as I walk in the woods?
Or in a solitary blade of grass
in an autumn flock of birds?
Heldur, my heart hasn't forgotten you.
There is still a place in my soul
that belongs to you.
I have your words,
your touch on my cheek.
And part of you is around my waist.
But that's all...
I have of you.
The hope that one day I'll see you
walking towards our home,
or sitting under our wild apple tree
will probably never vanish.
Please forgive me,
but this time I'm not staying...
I'm going back to our homeland.
To me, you are there...
And if you aren't,
then keep in mind that a part of me
will remain here forever.
With you.
As well as with Eliide.
I'm going home...
Because what is freedom worth
if you have to pay for it
with solitude...
Dear Erna,
when your eyes read these lines,
you and Eliide will already be
in our homeland.
Since I didn't know
where to write to you in Siberia,
I wrote to our relatives in Estonia.
Surely they'll pass
this letter on to you.
Know that I'm well.
As well as can be
under the circumstances.
We've been in the same place
for the fifth month now.
We're being held in a cell.
In a prison camp.
The men of Defence League have been
sent to the tribunal one after another.
tomorrow is my turn.
I'm writing because...
because none of our men
have come back after the tribunal.
Some think that
they are being sent to the front,
but my heart won't let me lie to you...
Don't wait for me to come back.
When this letter finds you,
follow our relatives to the West.
You can probably still get away
by train.
And one day we'll meet again!
Then come from the west
as a fresh, free wind.
And I'll come from here
as the east wind.
And we'll meet in the crosswind.
We'll meet where the winds meet,
by our apple tree
under the wing of the Creator.
With love,