Confused by her mothers arrest, 6-year old Leelo tries to understand and adapt in 1950'ies Soviet

Feature film - 98 min - Drama | History


It is 1950 in the Soviet Estonia and the Stalinist terror machine works at full steam – 6-year-old Leelo’s school principal mother is arrested before her very eyes. “If you’re a good kid, I’ll be back soon,” are her mother’s last words as she is taken away at gunpoint.

So Leelo is on her very best behaviour, but yet her mother does not return. A fear creeps into the child’s soul that it is her fault her mother was taken. The confusion only grows as “good” and “bad” no longer seem to hold any meaning in these troubled times. Why is the Estonian flag suddenly forbidden? Who is the people’s enemy and why is the scary NKVD lurking around their home? Is it an honour or a shame to be a pioneer?

In this odd two-faced world, Leelo tries her best to be good, but is instead embroiled in one scrape after another and becomes ever more confused as to what it even means to be a good kid.

“The Little Comrade favours sunlight over darkness, hope over despair.”
Screen International

“Both affecting and richly visualized.”

“The Little Comrade is a beautiful portrait of a child and a father-daughter relationship.”

Title information

Title: The Little Comrade
Original title: Seltsimees laps
Director: Moonika Siimets
Writers: Moonika Siimets
Producers: Riina Sildos
Genre: Drama | History
Duration: 98 min
Language: Estonian
Subtitles: English, Russian
Release Date: March 23, 2018
Tagline: In the midst of Stalinist tyranny, six-year-old Leelo’s mother is sent to a prison camp. Haunted by her mother’s last words telling her to be a good kid, Leelo vows to be on her best behaviour in the confusing grown-up world in the hope that it will bring her mother back.
Cast: Helena Maria Reisner
Tambet Tuisk
Yulia Aug
Juhan Ulfsak
Liina Vahtrik
Lembit Peterson
Maria Klenskaja
Eva Koldits
Maria Avdjushko

Available: The world excluding; Estonia