The Attitudes of Estonian Russians Have Changed in a Decade, Film Director Says ({{commentsTotal}})

Aljona Surzhikova
Aljona Surzhikova Source: Photo: Courtesy Diafilm

The attitudes of Estonian Russians towards Estonian independence have changed with a new generation, according to film director Aljona Surzhikova, and unlike 10 years ago, many youth are oriented towards Tallinn instead of St. Petersburg.

Surzhikova told on Monday that Independence Day is a day off for local Russians, but she was unsure about the celebrations being a common tradition for Russian and Estonian communities, as it is a relatively new holiday.

Initially, a large portion of the Russian community did not see the positive sides of Estonian independence, but that is definitely changing, she said.

“I have made quite a few programs and features over 10 years. When we were filming in Narva 10 years ago, the young were looking more towards St. Petersburg, but now they are looking towards Tallinn,” she said.

Surzikova directed a documentary series, "Live To Be 100," for ETV, and directed a documentary film, "Not My Land," in 2013.

She said she thinks the changes will happen with new generation reaching adulthood, and cited the Baltic Film and Media School, part of Tallinn University. Suzikova said the Estonian- and Russian-speaking first-year students have a similar identity at the school, whereas the generational difference between a 40-year-old and a 20-year-old would be greater.

“I think it will become better over time,” she said.