Author: Julie Hersh

Divers in the Rain / Tuukrid Vihmas

Divers in the Rain (Tuukrid Vihmas) is an Estonian short animated film from 2009. It’s black and white and about a half-hour long, though with very limited dialogue. It was created by Priit Pärn, one of Estonia’s most lauded contemporary animation directors, in collaboration with his wife, Olga Pärn. Pärn’s cartoons are generally not aimed at children, […]

History of Kyrgyzstan / История Кыргызстана

History of Kyrgyzstan (История Кыргызстана) is a series of cartoons telling the history of Kyrgyzstan. (I’m sure you didn’t see that one coming!) It was created in 2017. The series will ultimately consist of 20 several-minutes-long episodes, though to date (May 2017) only 11 have been released. The series’s creators have said that they are currently working […]

The Return / Хайтарма

The Return (Хайтарма / Qaytarma) is a 2013 Crimean-Tatar (not to be confused with simply Tatar!) dramatic film. It was produced in Ukraine and is in both Russian and Crimean Tatar languages. The film tells the story of the events of May 1944, when over the course of a few days Stalin had the Crimean Tatars […]

We’ll Be Belarusians! / Будзьма беларусамі!

We’ll Be Belarusians! (Будзьма беларусамі!) is a short animated Belarusian film. Created in 2011, it’s about five minutes long. It’s the first Belarusian-language cartoon about Belarus’s history. For such a short film, Belarusians has a big plot, and made a big impact. The film tells the story of the entire history of Belarus, from the beginning […]

Malanowski and Partners / Malanowski i Partnerzy

Malanowski and Partners (Malanowski i Partnerzy) is a Polish crime TV series that aired from 2009 to 2016. It ran for 16 seasons, and there are more than 800 half-hour episodes. The show takes place in Warsaw and is about Detective Malanowski and his partners at the detective agency he runs. The show follows the detectives as […]

The Laughing Pot / Горщик-cміхотун

The Laughing Pot (Горщик-cміхотун in Ukrainian, Горшок смехотун in Russian—though the Ukrainian cміхотун has also been translated into Russian in the name of the film as хохотун and насмешник) is a 1990 Ukrainian-made short animated film. It’s about eight minutes long. The film is wordless. The film tells the story of a very strange-looking clay pot made […]

TOMM¥ €A$H

TOMM¥ €A$H (usually known in print as Tommy Cash; real name Tomas Tammemets) is a rapper from Estonia—or rather, as his official Facebook describes him, a “real professional rap superstar” singing “post-Soviet rap.” Though he has an Estonian and Russian background and speaks both languages, he raps mostly in English, but this hasn’t stopped him […]

Secrets / Saladused

Secrets (Saladused) is an Estonian TV drama. It began airing in 2008. The show tells the stories of ordinary Estonian people, mainly focusing on their relationship dramas as well as other adventures. All the stories featured are true, though with actors playing the roles. The show seeks out the most interesting and often scandalous (or […]

TMTV / ТМТВ

TMTV, or Tatar Music Television Channel (Татарский Музыкальный Телеканал in Russian, Татар музыкаль телеканалы in Tatar), is the number-one music TV channel in the republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. It launched in 2012 and is based in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. The channel features contemporary Tatar music and has a variety of music-related and […]

Zarina Vildanova / Зарина Вильданова

Zarina Vildanova (Зарина Вильданова) is an up-and-coming contemporary Tatar singer. She is from Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, Russia. She sings in a range of styles—jazz, folk, and pop—and languages, but much of her music has a focus on Tatar sounds and culture. Vildanova has an extensive musical education. After getting a degree at Kazan State […]

Alqanat

Alqanat is a Tatar rock and metal band from Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, Russia. Their albums and website boast that they play “authentic Tatar rock music” (Tатарча рок); their uniqueness stems from their combining of their Tatar identity with very un-traditional music. While their music does have some folk elements, and they sing only […]

Defenders of Riga / Rigas sargi

Defenders of Riga (Rigas sargi) is a 2007 Latvian drama film. Latvia submitted it to the 2007 Academy Awards for consideration for Best Foreign Language Film, but it was not nominated. The film is based on the book Clock in Reverse (Pulkstenis ar atpakaļgaitu) by Andris Kolbergs, who also contributed to the screenplay. The film […]

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