The trailer for Disco and Atomic War (Disko ja tuumasõda) which will premiere at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival.
For young Estonians growing up under the repressive thumb of Soviet ideology, the only images of the West they saw came in the form of pirated television signals from powerful transmitters in Finland. But the impact of these images was life-changing. Once Estonians beheld Dallas, disco dancing, and Knight Rider, not to mention supermarkets full of goods unavailable to them, there was no turning back.
Spanning the mid-1950s to the fall of Communism, the wild and original Disco & Atomic War offers a provocative and playful counter-history of the Cold War. It documents the increasingly paranoid efforts of the Estonian puppet government to block these subversive transmissions and the ever more imaginative ways the citizens found to get around the blockades. Director Jaak Kilmi mixes rich archival footage with droll recreations that show us a nation more obsessed with “Who killed J.R.?’’ than Communist doctrine. Tongue in impassioned cheek, this mile-a-minute documentary vividly demonstrates how the “soft power” of pop culture toppled a totalitarian regime.