Nipernaadi (1983) - full transcript

The story is about an Estonian Don Juan, who actually is a writer, who leaves home in spring and is brought home again in autumn, by his wife.

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Based on a book
"Toomas Nipernaadi" by A. Gailit

Liis Nõgikikas is dead!

Liis Nõgikikas is dead.
Go and see!

Wait, wait, wait!
Tell me, who was Liis Nõgikikas?

Didn't you know that witch?
- No, I didn't.

She was the devil himself!

We waited for her death,
but she wouldn't kick the bucket.

She was evil!
If she caught you, your game was up.

What do you mean by you?

Me and the sons, who else?
Me, Peetrus, Paulus and Joonatan.

You go and see her!
The sons don't know what to do there.

An adder! Help! An adder!

Don't scream, foolish girl!

An adder is not going
to harm you in the water.

Don't be afraid of me.
I'm wandering in these parts.

And I came here by accident.
What's your name?


Take it!
Don't be afraid of me, Milla.

Is this your home?
- Yes.

Dear relatives...

A great misfortune has struck us.

Misfortune indeed, we don't know
how to live without her.

We should report her death
to the sexton and the parson.

They would see to
the official side of it.

We shall manage everything.

How many cats do you have?
- Used to have three...


Why you little...!

I'm telling you this the last time!

Joonatan will become
the master of the farm!

He's youngest of us
and he must obey, right?

Joonatan will get the farm!
- No! I've never held the plough!

I don't know
the sowing and harvest times.

One of us must become the master.

I hope this time it will be decided
without bloodshed or thrashing?

Decided, Joonatan will have the farm.

No! I'll rather run into the woods.

I'm not going to become the master,
do what you may!

Why are you arguing so,
my dear relatives?

I'm going to become the master!

I'll be the master!
Let's go.

It's no job for a grown man

to be walking after the plough.

Why should three big men

bother to do farm work?
- Right, you're dead right.

And a grown man in town is
either in business or in trafficking.

You're always the one who must give,
and he's the one who cashes in.

This is a very old truth.


How about if you all got together
and set up, let us say, a cinema?

Nowadays there are machines

that'll show you stories to make you
laugh till your sides split.

All you do is turn your machine on
and money will start pouring in.

And to get people curious you put
a monkey or something at the door.

Money only loves men of vigor.

Then there's
no stopping the money flow.

Then you buy up all the farms
and make yourselves a manor!

A mansion by the lake,

a large brickworks on the hill.

With a cinema
you could work miracles!

This is a fair idea.

We're in desperate need of money.

Let's get the hag to the grave
and then we're out of here!

Yes, of course, while I'm here,
I may take care of the farm.

It's a nasty business though.
Will have to hire hands.

You discuss it
and make your decision.

Well, yes.
I'll hear about it tomorrow.

Milla! Milla!
Are you here?

There's a bit of news
I want to tell you.

As of today I am
the master of Krootuse Farm.

Every penny I had earned
as a shoemaker,

I paid to the brothers.

But I'm so lonely.

I don't have either
friends or relatives.

And so I thought...
You could become my missus.

See you, Milla!

Mika. I call him Mika!

He used to have another name,
but I forgot it.

Gosh, he's beautiful.
- I paid fifty roubles for him,

and the Latvian kept saying
Mika had been like a son to him.

He sold him
because he needed money.

Then I paid the Latvian
and took the monkey.

The nights are so hot and light.

It makes me
so restless and unwell.

You wander around with your disease
and cannot find peace.

And you can't get a wink of sleep...

Milla, can you hear me?

The other day
I was lying under a branchy oak tree,

and I had very strange visions.

Far, far away,
beyond many lands and seas,

there lived
a famous prince of Kapurthala...

And the Maharaja had a daughter,

Enelele - a small and tender girl
like a fresh bird's eye primrose.

She walked dancing and hopping,

strings of pearls around her
like threads of silvery moonlight.

But then she was suddenly taken ill.

No one could cure her
from this disease.

The Maharaja was broken by sorrow.

He said whoever
would cure Enelele,

would be given power and riches

and Enelele herself
for his blessing.

Behold the long
caravans of elephants,

trains from distant countries,
and ships sailing towards his land.

And there,
amongst all the wonders

rides Toomas, Son of the North,
called Nipernaadi.

Without brilliance or splendor,
dressed as a poor working lad.

And when the sages
of all lands had failed,

the lad will try his luck.

What does he do?
He doesn't do anything.

He only speaks about his land,
its forests and meadows,

its light nights, hot days,

the foaming waterfalls
and the mystery of its bogs.

And behold,
Enelele rises from her cold bed,

and her laugh rings again
merry and clear. She is well.

The rich Maharaja said,
take everything I have.

You can use me as your squire.

And the Son of the North,
Toomas by name, said to them,

I want none of your riches, for I am
a thousand times richer than you.

I have woods in the north,
and wild geese flying over them.

When the wind caresses
the golden ears of corn,

it feels as it was the sea swelling.

And we have the sun
that shines even at midnight.

Who's shouting there?

Milla, if you should ever want
to become my missus, do it now.

Have you ever heard
the squealing of hungry pigs?

Hush! Listen!
My pigs are squealing now.

I'm afraid to go there.
What I should do?

Why did you buy the farm?

Such a foolish questions.

I don't know how to answer that.

Excuse me, Milla,

but I had a hidden purpose
when I bought the farm.

I thought I would invite you
for my missus.

Why shouldn't I
have a little bit of luck.

You have immoral thoughts.
- How come immoral?

Excuse me. I'm not
going to bother you any more.

Did you want to tell me something?

You will become my missus?
- Yes!

Who the heck brought you
back here so fast?

Has the annual fair
been banned by the authorities?

Please, come on in
and feel yourself at home.

In the name of Christ's suffering
and Holy Supper!

Paulus! Paulus!

Give me a match!

I've never had any...

Here you are boys.

Take it.

Can't you see the house is on fire?

We're frying the robber!
Stop where you are!

Let the animals out,
bring the things out

and form a line to the well!

Monkey! Monkey!

The monkey's disappeared!
The monkey's disappeared!

The monkey's disappeared!

Mother, dear mother!

Where's our dear relative?

Is your name Ello?
- Tralla.

A beautiful name.
Are you the master's daughter?

No. I'm the herdsman.
The master's daughter's called Ello.

She'll soon be married to the parson.

And all of this
will belong to the parson.

But the parson is
a very grave man who never laughs.

Good evening.

I am Toomas Nipernaadi.

I was passing by and
brought you your papers.

I'm just wandering around.

Normally I work, of course,
I work quite hard.

Does the master have
some kind of work to give me?

I see you have it
quite broken down here...

No, I don't have anything to offer.

He could stay.
Where can he go?

I think so too.
Where can a man go?

Come on in.
- Yes.

Of course, how else.

Good night.

Good evening.

The stars.

And the moon.

It's flowing above the trees,

as if it was a yellow Pierrot
hanged from the sky.

Our nature
is passionate and morbid.

Everything arrives very suddenly.

The humans are the same.

I beg your pardon.

I'm not actually a farmer.

I am a tailor,
but in spring I leave all my work.

You obviously like to tell lies.
- Look!

A star is falling.
I am sorry.

I really tend to talk big sometimes.

God knows why.

I'm no tailor.

I'm a sailor, a fisherman.

I catch sprats,
for my own needs...

What else is there
for a sinner like me...

But if I'm hired,

I would certainly like to
go to the parson.

To take the holy communion.

Maybe you could help me with that?

You will soon be his wife after all.

They say the parson is a good person.
Only he doesn't know how to laugh.

Get up, you heathens!

Serve your God!

The sun's rising,
but everyone is a sleep!

Who the devil let the animals out?


I'm going to the parsonage.
Accompany me, please.

It's a dull road to walk alone.
But you say such funny things.

You don't talk much today.

Can't you see that I love you?

And why should I hide it?

I know I'm ugly,
I should be sent away from people.

But what can I do, for I love you.

Keep your mouth shut!
- I'm sorry...

I only want to hold you
like a bird on my palm.

You are simply unbearable.
Why do you speak such nonsense?

But I only want you to listen to me.

Don't be angry at me.
Is it really so difficult?

Do keep your mouth shut. Can't you
see we've come to the parsonage?


It is quite certain that
we'll have to leave here soon.

Soon the parson will come,
and then we have work endlessly.

Tralla, don't you want me
for a husband?

We'd live in the forest.
We'd buy one cow for us.

A red cow,
with a white spot on the forehead.

Dear Tralla...
You could love me just a little bit...

Of course, I am poor,
I have just one shirt.

Who taught you
this nice sidelong glance?

Could you teach me?
It is so nice.

And how little and white
are your hands...

Have you ever looked at them?

Good night.


You'll come to the river with me,

- You'll see then.

Dear Ello, I want to
share my secret with you.

I'll tell you,
who I really am.

I am an archaeologist.

All my life
I have studied big books.

Like the Bible or...

During the reign of king
Erik the fourteenth of Sweden

there was a big wide river
in place of this little stream.

An enormous fleet laden with gold
was shipwrecked here.

And the gold is now here,
under your feet.

Right in front of you
in the river there are pearls.

This was a pearl-divers' settlement.

But then the war broke out
and all the villages burned down.

Only the pearls didn't disappear,
they kept on growing.

The day that I made that discovery,
I was almost out of my mind.

Look at those flowing waters,

how much happiness and mystery
they hide under their waves.

I love you, Ello.
Forgive me my naughtiness.

Perhaps I really am that ugly.

I shall have a pearl necklace
made for you to wear in the moonlight.

I shall build a palace for you,
and I give you five hundred guards,

maybe that will make you
a little bit kinder to me.

You keep silent.

What should I do? Tell me,
I'll do everything within my power.

There isn't
a single pearl in this stream.

Soon you will see.
My workers will come digging.

I'll even bring some pretty girls
for them from town

Ello, please tell me, could you
love me, if only a little bit...?

Or do I also need a girl
from the town?

I'll be married in a few days.

Let's send the parson to Rome
or I can break his leg!

You must be mad!

Only I may hold you so by the hand.
- Let me go.

- No!

She says I'm a tailor and a fisherman.

And ugly as well!

Who the heck has heard that before?


When are you going to build me
the palace you promised?

This treasure wears me down.

How I regret
having assumed this burden.

Why didn't you accept them
when I was begging you?

Now I'm suffocating
under their weight.

Do you remember
what you told me then? There?

You asked me something
and I said no.

I don't know why I did it.

If I think about my future

I'd like to run away from here.

Would you like to
run away with me?

I don't know you,
but no matter.

I heard you speak to Tralla
about a forest.

I imagined the two of us living there.

I've been waiting only for you.

We shall run away early
tomorrow morning. Five o'clock.

You would you leave
everything behind just for me?

- What about the treasure?

What shall we do with the treasure?

I have a brother,
a fine chap exactly like myself.

He'll send us all the gold by ship.

We don't need that gold!
- We can't squander.

And do you want me?
Me and no one else?

Nipernaadi, dear!

You told me I must give an answer.
I'm going to give it now.

I'm prepared to come with you
wherever you want.

Really, wherever I want?
It makes me so happy, Tralla.

You are so exceedingly nice.

Go to sleep now... We're going to
speak about it tomorrow. - Yes.

Do we have a long way to go?
- Yes.

It's the third day already.
Will we reach your farm today?

No, Kati, not today.

I told you, I am the first time
on this road. I had no idea.

You won't ask directions.
You seem to be afraid of people.

Are you ashamed of me?
- Nonsense!

Why should I be ashamed of you?

No, what kind of talk is this...

My feet can't carry me any more.

Poor thing.
We'll get home soon

and then I'll take care of you
and cure your feet.

What happened?

Look! Those forests over there
they must be mine.

- No, no... Those more distant ones.

My home is behind those forests.
- We'll be there before nightfall.

No, we won't get very far
with those feet of yours.

We'll spend one more night
under the open sky.

Do you remember
when you came into our hut?

The hut was so small.

All the corners
were full of children.

But you didn't go away.
You stayed as the man in our house.

And in the evenings you spoke
about your farm, your home.

I shall go and find something to eat.
- No!

I'll be back right away.
Wait for me.

I'm afraid you'll run away.

You are rich and you have a farm,
fifteen fat cows in your stable.

Do you have any bulls?

Yes, I have one.
- An angry bull?


Don't get cross at me,

but I don't know whether
I'm in love with you or your cows!

I'm happy not because
I shall soon be your wife,

but because soon
I'll hear the lowing of cows.

Are you cross with me now?
- No.

It's not easy to make
a poor girl a mistress of your farm,

the more so
if she isn't really a bride, yet.

Good Lord, will you give your child
a little bit of luck?

Which of them is your farm?
The one with the red roof?

Or the one with the stables?
Tell me, Toomas, tell me fast!

That one, with the stables.

Oh heavens!

My heart told me
it was the one with the stables.

Sit down.

We're home at last.

I've lived and grown up here.

And now I think
I must go in alone first.

I must check
whether the rooms are clean.

I can't take you
into a stable after all.

Sit here nicely
and don't go anywhere.


Isn't the master in?

Or the mistress?

I have some business with them.

There's no one at home.

They went to the market with the ox
and won't be back before tomorrow.

I'm actually his distant relative.
An in-law.

His wife died long ago.
- What did you say, man?

Dead? Can't be.
- More than twenty years ago.

Twenty years ago,
and I had no idea.

Serves me right
for not visiting my relatives.

You came with a woman.
Why don't you call her in?

She's not mine.

I just thought
she might find work here.

Any master
needs a pair of busy hands.

You may try to strike a deal
when old Lõoke comes home.

I'm going out to work now.

Kati, forgive me...

I had to learn what
has happened on my farm.

I thought you were
never coming back.

Where should I have stayed?

Such a bastard! The old fogy!
The old fool! - Who?

My uncle Jaak Lõoke!

He's taken my ox to the market!

When my father was still alive,
uncle was a sensible man.

And now he has even taken
his bed into the back room!

Now he lives on this farm
and thinks he is the master.

What's this cow called?
- That one is Sun Circle.

A person with so many animals
must be happy. Are you?

And deep inside the forest

They tell an ancient tale

This like the beauty of summer nights

Like heartfelt laughter or crying

And the mist starts slowly rising

And floating like a veil

What is it?
- Help! Help!

Jaak, father, come on in,
let the beast take some fresh air.

I'm not coming anywhere!
It is my beast and it must obey me!

What are you staring at!

The master of Hansuoja Farm
is not afraid of you!

I can best you a hundred times!
And flatten you like a stain.

Just you wait!

Get lost!

Help me lift Jaan into the house.
Any delay may cost him his life!

Who are you?
You saved my life.

Toomas Nipernaadi,
a distant relative.

Nipernaadi and a relative...

Now, let's take
uncle nicely to his bed.

I already have a nurse for you.

Kati, where are you?

Is this the nurse?
- Take uncle to bed now, fast.

Did you have the girl
with you from the start?

My mother always said,
if you ever go to Härmaste,

visit the Hansuoja Farm

and see how your mother's
relatives are doing.

You came at a right time,
and you had the girl with you.

You can't get Kati out of the
cowshed, she likes to tend cows.

Loves the animals and wants
to become the mistress? - Yes.

I'll send her to look at your wounds.
She has a soft touch.

You think so?
- Yes.

What do you think, Kati,

shouldn't I go to Härmaste
to see the doctor?

Let him see
why I can't stand up on my feet.

Of course you must
show it to the doctor.

There must be something
fishy inside with such pain.

Only the doctor can help here.

Do you want to be my driver?

What will Toomas say?

Would you rather want
me to die here and now?

I'll have to tell Toomas, don't I?

I didn't know
that uncle would buy it for me.

I thought they would be for Liisi.

He paid and then told me to take it.

I took it knowing
you would cover all the expenses.

Toomas, listen to me.

You saved my life and cured me...
Give me the girl, too.

Take the horse if you like, I...

Six cows...?

Twenty bushels of plough land?
- Don't talk nonsense.

I must get rid of you somehow.

Kati said herself,
if Toomas doesn't want her

she'll be mine.
- I'll take Kati and go away.

Damn, you have a rock for a heart!
Can't you help me a little?

You saved my life,
cured me, give me Kati, too!

I saved your life and cured you,
but I'm not going to give you Kati!

We'll be leaving tomorrow.

I heard you were going away.
Is it true? - True.

Where are you going?
- Home.

This isn't your home? - No. My farm
is twenty kilometres from here.

And it is not a farm,
it is a manor.

Do you want to take me with you?
- Of course. Why not?

Don't you want to come?

And I thought
you would be so happy on my manor.

My mansion sits at the top of a hill
and there's a river in the valley.

It should be very pretty now,
the river carrying fallen leaves.

And I have a tower.

If you look from the tower,
you can see up to the sea.

Nothing will come of it.

I know.

Jaak! Toomas set me free!

This sixty-year-old fool
is having fun with my girl,

and I'm supposed to stand for it.

If he was doing this to my girl,
I would set his house on fire.

Listen, Moormaa.

Do you have any matches?
- Here you are.

Put the straws under the eaves
and then strike a match.


The house didn't catch fire.

Nothing to do with matches
in this kind of weather.

You can't get a spark
before it goes out.

There were cakes and coffee,
but nothing is left.

I don't care much for food now.

Not even for milk?
- No.

What a pity you have to walk
through such mud.

But Jaak went with two horses.

And I can't take the young one,
it will be our wedding horse.

You are mad!
- No worries.

If Jaak had seen,
he would have killed you!

Wait for me, Kati!
When Jaak begins to stoop more,

I'll start visiting more often.


Push all the time
with the same strength.

- Forgot.

But it isn't cold.
- Not cold...

Listen, come with me today.

I have a girl living near here.
Her name's Maret Vaa.

She isn't for you.
Have you taken a look at your boots?

See. I even brought a friend today.

Toomas Nipernaadi!
He comes from near Lake Peipsi.

Knows how to work a dragnet.

And Maret's not in?
- She won't come before midnight.

God knows where she goes
or what she does.

Don't let her.

I come to see her,
even bring a friend,

but Maret has no intention
to wait for us.

I don't want to wait any longer.
I have other girls who are kind to me.

Come, Toomas.

I'm going to stay for a while.
- To wait for Maret?

Stay if you want.
You won't be better off on the barge.

No idea why he thought
I am from near Lake Peipsi.

I've never been there.

I'm a sailor, waiting for orders
to board my ship.

Would you like to give me shelter
and some food for this?

This is a lot of money.

I haven't seen so much money
for a long time.

There was a painter here once,
painted the sea and the fishermen.

He didn't pay that much.

This is our new lodger.

He's is a sailor.

I only wanted to ask
if you would let me stay here.

I can mend your father's nets
and help him at sea.

But you're not a fisherman
and you've never been to sea.

I'm going to cut Justus's timber!
And I have a much better partner.

Siimon Vaa, tell that vagrant

that it is time for him to go
and leave my girl alone.

It is time to go also for me.

No letter from your ship?

They've forgotten all about me.

You're never going
to find a pearl on this beach.

The sea washes ashore
every kind of junk, why not pearls?

I shall build a castle
on this beach,

with a hundred sparkling windows
looking out to sea.

And if then you come to my doorstep
blinded by its splendor,

I shall come to meet you and say,

you will stay here now, old sailor.

No, no, the old sailor
is not going to stay.

He'll be waiting for you
on the other side.

Far away. Somewhere
near the end of the world.

He will go on from year to year,
living and waiting.

And then suddenly,

woken by loud beating of the drums
and blowing of the horns

the famous queen of Sheba will be
coming towards him with her caravan,

and then the old sailor will fall
on his knees and say:

God, allow this dream to continue.

Who is the queen?
- It is you.

And then you step
off your sedan and say:

look at me - doesn't your mouth
open in a loud call for me?

Your lips start to tremble
and you ask:

don't you have
anything to say to me?

I kiss your robe,
your cloak embroidered with pearls,

and tell you that
I've loved only you all my life.

Go on.
- This is not my story.

You can read it yourself.

It is about how the queen of Sheba

went to see king Solomon of Israel.

Is the vagrant gone already?

Tell me when he leaves. I won't
set my foot in this house before.

Why won't you also go
to cut timber?

I'd wait for you every Saturday
and send you off every Monday.

Winter is not so long.
- No.

This is not a life for a sailor.

You don't care for me,
that's why you want to leave here.

I would care for you.
You are tough like a juniper root

and your breasts are
hard as flintstones.

But I'm a sailor
and they are waiting for me.

Where shall I put you?
You must wait for me.

You must wait for the summer.

I'll come back, with my pockets
full on money, and call for you.

There's not enough room for me
in this little hut.

Let her come out,
the captain wants to speak to her.

And then you scream, run out

and stare at me
with your frightened eyes.

No, that's not true.
I'm not frightened at all.

I'll put my arms around your neck
and tell you you'll fit in my hut.

While you roamed the seas
I found heaps of pearls on the beach.

There was
an enormous quantity of them.

My God, haven't I told you enough

that the sea never washes out pearls!

I used to know a fool who even
looked for pearls in a stream.

Is your story any better?

This is not just a story,
it is the truth.

This is how you are. You come back
in twenty years and ask

if my breasts are
as hard as flintstones.

You'd be coming to mock me then!

I'm not going to leave you.

But every man
must become something.

A fisherman,
a captain or a farmer.

There's nothing wrong in it.
That's why I must get away.

Not for ten or for twenty years,
but for one year at least.

I need more money
and opportunities.

I have a rich aunt
who lives near Lake Peipsi.

Katariina Jee is her name.
She has ships and barges,

and captains in her service.

Have you heard
about the Mustvee coast?

That's where my rich aunt lives.

She's been inviting me to visit.
I've told her, wait.

I'll come when you are a hundred,

or certainly when you are
a hundred and twenty-five.

And if I now go,
she will die of joy and compassion,

and I have nothing else to do
but to receive her inheritance.

And so you may hope
I am back in a year.

Then I'll walk up to you and say,

Maret, tell me, do you want
to build a house with me,

a big strong house there,
under those pine-trees?

You're lying!

Always lying!

You're not capable of speaking truth!

All your stories are lies!

You're soaked through with lies.

You don't know
how to be human anymore!

Tell me once again whether you're
leaving here tomorrow or not.

You're not going anywhere,
not tomorrow or later.

Do you really want me
to give you a beating?

Tell me once again if you're
going to leave here tomorrow.

If I could get you
to cut Justus's timber now,

I'd be very close to happiness.

Very close to happiness...

What is it?
- Nothing.

What's the matter with you?

It's so dark there,
I cannot see anything.

Is Toomas Nipernaadi home?


You are Katariina Jee?
- Katariina Jee? No.

You are not the Katariina Jee
who lives near Lake Peipsi? - No.

So he's not here?
But he was supposed to be here.

Nipernaadi went out and we
don't know when he's coming back.

Could you tell us who you are?

I forgot to introduce myself.

I am Inriid Nipernaadi,
Toomas Nipernaadi's wife.

You're Nipernaadi's wife?
- Yes.

I have been Toomas Nipernaadi's wife
for sixteen years.

Hasn't he told you about it?
Oh yes, I know.

When he goes out roaming
he doesn't tell about his family.

I'm used to it already

that in spring he leaves
his wife and his children.

He's a typical husband,

only in summer he's of no use at all.

But in winter he writes
and does a lot of work.

Writes, does a lot of work?

Is writing his work?
- Yes.

I saw at once
that he wasn't a real worker.

When you load props
you do it like this:

you take one prop after another.
When you have that right prop

you put it on the railing and push.

But he couldn't do it.
All his props fell down.

What's the matter with her?

It's nothing. She's my girl.
She's sometimes like this.


You've grown older.

Your clothes are right there.

You look like a stranger now.

So it is...

Could we go now?

All the land isn't
covered with snow yet.

There are a couple
of black patches.

I'll be yours only after all the land
is covered with a white blanket.

Now you have seen
my Katariina Jee.

Have you found
your queen of Sheba now?

No, dear Maret.

I'll be looking for my queen of Sheba
as long as I live.

Even as an old man...

And I'll be going to the beach to see

if the sea
has washed out pearls for me.

Farewell, Maret.