I Hullumeelsus I

  • 1h 19 min
  • Drama, Historical drama

In the final days of World War II, a Wehrmacht special commando arrives at a remote mental asylum to exterminate its patients. Their mission is postponed due to an anonymous report, according to which a British secret agent hides amongst the inmates. Gestapo officer Windisch is sent to identify the malingerer spy. Instead of unmasking the enemy, the boundaries between sanity and insanity start to blur, and Windisch’s investigation is derailed by increasing doubts about his own mental state.

Considered one of the best Estonian films of all times, „Madness” presents the psychiatric hospital as a microcosm that externalises the perverted nature of not only Nazi regime, but of any totalitarian power apparatus. It was precisely the overly pronounced criticism of totalitarianism that led the Soviet cinema bureaucracy to suppress the wider distribution of Kiisk’s masterpiece for almost two decades.

Digitally remastered on the initiative of Estonian Film Institute in 2012 from a 35mm duplicate negative preserved by the Film Archive of the National Archives of Estonia. The 35mm original negative is preserved by Gosfilmofond.