Archive of films The Birdwatcher / Vaatleja

1987, 90 min

Section: Focus on Baltic Film (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia)
Year: 2003

For many years Alexandra has worked in a nature preserve in the north. Her tranquil life is interrupted by the arrival of a young ornithologist named Peeter. It seems that they might hit it off, but a heated dispute turns to hatred. Although they again draw closer to one another, the promising relationship ends in tragedy. 


The immaculate beauty of the northern landscape. Life naturally and harmoniously passes by in a woodland preserve where Alexandra has long lived and worked, and it seems the opportune spot for starting up a relationship with a young ornithologist named Peeter. But a heated dispute between them creates near unappeasable resentment on both sides. Although they get over their feelings of hatred and even replace them with an unexpected rapprochement, the promising development of their relationship ends in tragedy.

About the director

Arvo Iho (b. 1949) graduated in camerawork from Moscow’s VGIK film school (1976) and stood behind the lens on seven features and fifteen video films. He has lectured at film schools in Finland, Sri Lanka, and Montana, where he also studied anthropology. In 1992-94 he worked in the film department of the School of Education in Tallinn. Director’s filmography: Games for School Kids (Igry dlja dětej školnogo vozrasta, 1985), the documentary Disturber of the Peace (Narušitěl´ pokoja, 1986), The Observer (Vaatleja, 1987), Only for Crazy (1990) and the successful coproduction film The Heart of the Bear (Karu süda, 2001, ). Iho has also exhibited his photography.


Estonian Film Institute
Uus 3, 10111, Tallinn
Tel: +372 627 6060
Fax: +372 627 6061

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Focus on Baltic Film (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia)
Director: Arvo Iho
Screenplay: Marina Sheptunova
Dir. of Photography: Tatyana Loginova
Music: Lepo Sumera
Editor: Marju Juhkum, Ingrid Laos
Producer: Ants Kriis
Production: Tallinnfilm
Cast: Svetlana Tormakhova, Erik Ruus
Contact: Estonian Film Institute


Arvo Iho

Karlo Funk



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