June 14, 1941. Without warning tens of thousands of people in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were removed from their homes. Without any sort of trial, men faced being sent to prison camps and women and children were deported to Siberia. The aim of this extraordinary operation – carried out on the orders of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin – was to purge the Baltic countries of their native inhabitants. IN THE CROSSWIND, Director Martti Helde’s heart-wrenching true tale told through a woman’s hope-filled letters to her husband, was brought to life using extraordinary visual techniques and distinct cinematic language. 

Erna, happily married and the mother of a young daughter, is sent to Siberia. For her, time takes on another dimension. Fighting starvation and humiliation in inhuman conditions, her soul seeks and finds freedom in the letters she sends to her husband who has been sentenced to prison camp. Even so, the years in Siberia rob Erna of something much more precious than just her youth in this powerful and captivating drama, a mix of live-action and tableaux vivants, that captured numerous awards on the festival circuit, including the Don Quixote Award for Best Film at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, the Best Director Award at the Beijing International Film Festival and the Artistic Achievement Award at Thessaloniki.


Directed by: Martti Helde

Written by: Martti Helde, Liis Nimik

Cast: Laura Peterson, Tarmo Song, Mirt Preegel, Ingrid Isotamm,Einar Hillep

Produced by: Pille Runk, Piret Tibbo-Hudgins

Cinematographer: Erik Pollumaa