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Propaganda Man

Original Title: Propaganda Man

Length: 90 min

Genre: Drama

Writers: Lauri Haukkamaa, Martin Algus

Director: Lauri Haukkamaa

Producers: Essi Haukkamaa, Merja Ritola

Co-Producers: Meteoriit, Aet Laigu (EE)

                            Filmai LT, Arturas Dvinelis (LT)

                            Magic Lab, Michal Krecek (CZ)

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Writers’ Note

Martin Algus, Lauri Haukkamaa

The script is inspired by Pekka Lehtonen's book "On a mission over the bay. Propaganda's many faces" (orig. "Tehtävä Tallinnassa"). This is a biographical and nuanced description from a Finnish journalist who once worked on Soviet propaganda at Estonian Radio. The book provides an authentic reflection of the era and the radio work of that time, which we develop into a historical drama thriller together with co-screenwriter and director Lauri Haukkamaa.


The relevance of Pekka Lehtonen's book has only grown over time. We live in the so-called "post-truth world" where social media, in addition to the propaganda of regimes and governments, also gives an individual a wide audience to amplify any agenda. The ever-increasing influence of propaganda penetrates everywhere, into politics, business, living rooms, everyday life.


Lauri and I are inspired by the idea of going back in time with this topic, telling about this phenomenon that is important today through a historical filter. We feel that this provides an opportunity to find interesting parallels that achieve unexpected generalizability.


It also gives an opportunity to build a world of its own, a lost world, a unique moment in our history that has not been sufficiently reflected in Estonia so far. In 1968, the air of freedom was moving, the hopes of the Prague Spring, which were suddenly cruelly put on hold. Everything was muffled, even jazz music was banned in the Soviet Union. It was a unique moment in European history that, despite its suppression, set the stage for the real liberation decades later. Unfortunately, today's news tells us once again that freedom cannot be taken for granted.


Another interesting fact for me is that the era in question reaches us through the eyes of the Finnish protagonists. It provides a good opportunity to look at our history with a refreshing side view.


Pekka Lehtonen's book mentions several Estonian cultural figures of his time. We are also planning to show them in the film and that will definitely be a value in itself for our audience. At the same time, we don't rub it under the nose either, it happens naturally and organically, as part of a life bustling with activity.

The film is supported by the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme.

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