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Take It or Leave It

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Estonia | 2018 | 102 minutes | Liina Trišhkina-Vanhatalo

In Estonia's 2019 entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award®, a tough construction worker finds out his ex-girlfriend is pregnant—but, it turns out, she doesn't want to raise the baby and he does.

Baby, baby, who wants the baby? Mother Moonika wants to put her up for adoption. Dad Erik did not even know he was the dad until the last moment. Erik (Reimo Sagor), a 30-year-old construction worker, has some big life changes ahead of him in single parenthood. He is going to take his baby girl though he's still a kid himself and does not know the first thing about an infant: how to hold her, feed her, or change her diaper. Take It Or Leave It is a social drama based on a true story with motifs of tragicomedy about defining gender roles, especially the role of the father. In an era when family models are changing and women are more independent, some men no longer know what is expected—to be a macho, a softy, or both at the same time. Erik reveals what he is made of, both strength and softness, due to his courageous, unconventional, and inconvenient choice. Moreover, this choice will change his life in cardinal ways and make an everyday hero of an ordinary guy. Estonian documentary filmmaker Liina Trišhkina-Vanhatalo, in her debut dramatic feature, wanted to know when a person actually becomes a parent.

Maryna Ajaja

Director Biography 
Film director, screenwriter, and editor Liina Triškina-Vanhatalo was born in 1976 in Parnu, Estonia. She studied comparative theory of culture in Estonian Institute of Humanities and filmmaking in European Film College (Denmark) and Film School of Catalonia at Barcelona University. Take It Or Leave It is her debut feature, and was chosen as the Estonian candidate for the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film.

Sponsored by Lawrence Lofts

  • Original Language Title: Vota voi jata
  • Director: Liina Trišhkina-Vanhatalo
  • Principal Cast: Reimo Sagor, Nora Altrov, Emily Viikman, Liis Lass, Adeele Sepp
  • Country: Estonia
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 102 minutes
  • Producer: Ivo Felt
  • Screenplay: Liina Trišhkina-Vanhatalo
  • Cinematographers: Erik Pollumaa
  • Editors: Tambet Tasuja
  • Music: Sten Sheripov
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Cottbus Film Festival of Young East European Cinema 2018 (Award for Outstanding Actor) Official Oscar Submission 2019 (Foreign Language Film)
  • Filmography: In the Footsteps of Middendorff (Doc, 2006)
  • Language: Estonian
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP