Reconstructing the Past and the Present: The Ethnographic Films Made by the Estonian National Museum (1961–1989)
This article analyses the films made by the Estonian National Museum in the 1970s and the 1980s both from the point of view of the filming activity and of the content of these films. Although the Museum's director, Aleksei Peterson, who developed this activity, was mainly interested in strictly ethnographic film, the legacy from this period consists mainly, but not only, of film monographs made both in Estonia and in the Finno-Ugric regions. These films encompass the ethnographers' knowledge of the reconstructed period, the beginning of the 20th century. Nonetheless, the films made in Udmurtia contain several shots that reflect skills and practices still active at the end of that century. Other films are totally shot spontaneously, and there is also an example of comparative material. These forgotten films deserve to be remembered.