or pick a random keyword:


Vishal Vittal

A fragile hope: the Estonian National Museum.

There's a woman living in the attic of the Hermitage in the opening of "Wittgenstein's Mistress", the literary masterpiece by David Markson - and there's a woman knitting in the attic of the Estonian National Museum in "Above", a short-film by Vishal Vittal. The former is the only person left in the world - or at least she thinks she is -, while the latter is in the company of three other people, wandering in the empty museum. No speaking, only silence: what strikes the most in "Above" is this absence of life and sound -we spot a man riding a bicycle that goes nowhere, a couple of seemingly guardians that watch what might be a surveillance camera. Until something happens: something as fragile as a bubble soap appears.

Vishal Vittal reflected on void and suspension for this short film: "keeping hope alive is the most difficult gesture", he writes, explaining how the Estonian National Museum became the inspiration for "Above". Built in 2016 in the city of Tartu, 25 years after the end of the Soviet occupation, the Estonian National Museum is a symbol of freedom and independence.
The Museum is built on an ex-Soviet runway and from its side looks as it is taking off from the ground. This projection of a nation that is taking off from a troubled past into a new future was the inspiration for the film.

The bubble soap is a metaphor for the hard times the country went through after the end of the Soviet era and the difficulties of building a new future, of keeping hope alive, as Vittal noted. The playfulness of an element such as a bubble soap - linked to childhood, to what's marvelous - helps people "trapped" in the museum to dare look up and look outside. So we trail behind it, moving from room to room, from corridor to hall, watching the bubble moving around, able to appreciate both the building and the new life inside of it.

Vishal Vittal commented, "The Estonian National Museum is a testament to the quest for reawakening a pride in national identity and a unique cultural history. This cinematic expression aims to celebrate the space, its people and their powerful ability to keep hope alive".

(Story by Sara Marzullo, The Architecture Player)


Architect: DGT Architects (Dan Dorell, Lina Ghotmeh and Tsuyoshi Tane)
Mentioned project: Estonian National Museum (2016)
Project location: Tartu, Estonia
Actors: Ivar Mölder, Katerina Puusepp, Heli Kiigemägi, Enn Pehk
Editor: Andrijana Krčmar
Sound designer: Nenad Stefanoski
Producer: Doris Tääker
Set designer: Kristina Löuk
Make-up artist: Kersti Niglas
1st ad: Jette Krööt Keedus
1st ac: Cheng Han Lin
2nd ac: Denis Vinokurov Emelin
Gaffer: Israel Bañuelos
Grip: Abdallah Sada
Electrician: Gabriel Solis
Drone operator: Jorma Suumann
Vfx: Sagar Nayak, Vivek Mehta
Bubble masters: Ida Rahu, Jarmo Rahu

Estonia 2017
Duration: 6'33"