In the Crosswind

To Russia, Without Love: A Movie Meditation on Mass Deportation from the Baltics

A still from In the Crosswind.

As Estonia prepares to mark the 30th anniversary of regaining its independence from Soviet rule Martti Helde’s In the Crosswind (Risttuules) is blowing onto U.S. screens to remind viewers of an especially egregious crime against humanity: The 80th anniversary of Joseph Stalin’s purported Baltic purge. Shortly after Crosswind’s rapturous opening depicting Erna and her husband Heldur enjoying an Estonian idyll at their countryside home, 40,000 people are deported from the Baltic Republics as part of Stalin’s alleged plot for ethnically cleansing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as titles in English inform us.

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Ed Rampell was named after legendary CBS broadcaster Edward R. Murrow because of his TV exposes of Senator Joe McCarthy. Rampell majored in Cinema at Manhattan’s Hunter College and is an L.A.-based film historian/critic who co-organized the 2017 70th anniversary Blacklist remembrance at the Writers Guild theater in Beverly Hills and was a moderator at 2019’s “Blacklist Exiles in Mexico” filmfest and conference at the San Francisco Art Institute. Rampell co-presented “The Hollywood Ten at 75” film series at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and is the author of Progressive Hollywood, A People’s Film History of the United States and co-author of The Hawaii Movie and Television Book.    

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