Archive of films Madness / Hullumeelsus

1968, 78 min

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

A strange man who appears at the gates of a mental hospital somewhere in the Estonian woods during the Second World War is, in fact, a Gestapo officer called Windisch. He is to search for a British spy who is hiding among the patients and he soon has three suspects singled out.


During the Second World War, on territory occupied by the German army, a stranger arrives at the gates of a hospital for the mentally disabled. When he is taken to a doctor, he tells him that the purpose of his visit is to find an English spy who is hiding among the patients. The man is, in fact, a Gestapo officer called Windisch and he is to carry out his task before the Soviet army pushes its way towards this isolated house in the middle of the woods. The doctor tries to be of assistance and Windisch soon narrows his list of suspects down to three people: a former publisher of a literary magazine, an army sergeant and a man who thinks he is the Führer himself. He is also suspicious of a young woman who is acting strangely. Using simple provocation, Windisch tries to force the spy to give himself up, but the impaired logic of those around him gradually undermines his plans. He is still feeling increasing pressure from above, however, and he has to take drastic measures in order to force the spy out into the open. The director uses the entire situation for a critical analysis of the relationship between power and guilt, and fixed ideas and free will in a totalitarian state. The film was made in 1968.  

About the director

Kaljo Kiisk (b. 1925, Estonia) studied chemistry and geology at Tallinn Technical College. He then left for Moscow to study at the State Institute of Dramatic Arts (GITIS) but returned to Tallinn, where he began working as an actor and stage director. He began directing films for Tallinnfilm in 1955 and has sixteen feature films to his name (e.g. Melting of Ice, We Were Eighteen Years Old, The Midday Ferry, Windy Coast, Landing, The Red Violin, A Hundred Years Later in May, Regina, The Prompter). The films Trails (1963) and Madness (1968) were banned by the Soviet regime. As an actor, Kiisk appeared in over twenty films and he also acted on stage and for ntelevision. During the years 1995-2003 he was a member of the Estonian parliament 


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

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Focus on Baltic Film (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia)
Director: Kaljo Kiisk
Screenplay: Viktor Lorents
Dir. of Photography: Anatoli Zabolotski
Music: Lembit Veevo
Editor: L. Rosental
Producer: A. Pessogov
Production: Tallinnfilm
Cast: Jüri Järvet, Voldemar Pauso, Mare Garshnek
Contact: Estonian Film Institute


Kaljo Kiisk

Karlo Funk



© 2020 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. +420 221 411 011 All contacts

CinemasCinemas PartnersPartners
ProgramProgram About the projectAbout the project
HistoryHistory GalleryGallery
Festival DailyFestival Daily
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days July 5 - July 8Industry Days July 5 - July 8 ContactsContacts
VideogalleryVideogallery GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide