Outside The Sphere

Year: 2013

Director: Marcus Kolga

Producers: Andris Kesteris, Marcus Kolga

Writers: Andris Kesteris, Marcus Kolga

Outside The Sphere examines the history of the Baltic communities in North America: the tyranny they narrowly escaped; the trials they faced in building new lives in the West; and the serious present day regional challenges they face.

The Baltic communities arrived in North America in the bloody wake of the Second World War. After enduring three separate and murderous waves of occupation by the Soviets and Nazis over five years, thousands -fearing for the lives of their famlies- fled their homelands to Sweden, Germany and elsewhere. By the early 1950’s many had continued to Canada and The United States where they established new lives and new communities.

The film follows the exodus of Baltic refugees across the stormy Baltic Sea and through war ravaged Germany and on to North America, examining the challenges faced by these new communities: would they be able to preserve and sustain their cultures in a foreign land? Would the KGB succeed in their goal of destroying Baltic emigre communities – or would the community fulfill this goal through perilous infighting? Would the community be able to articulate the position of their countrymen and win the support of western democracies?

Drawing on recently released CIA documents, the film investigates how the KGB attempted to infiltrate and destroy the Baltic communities in the 1960’s and how these fragile communities endured Soviet provocations and the deep social and cultural schisms they suffered as a result.

The film reveals how the Soviet legacy still haunts the fragile state of Baltic security and freedom in the present day. Traveling to Kabul, Afghanistan, the film looks at a Canadian-Estonian who returned to the homeland of his grandparents to become Estonia’s diplomatic representative in Afghanistan, as a partner in NATO’s ISAF mission. Featuring interviews with regional decision makers, including representatives of Vladimir Putin’s Russian government, Outside The Sphere looks at current regional issues and the precarious state of relations between the Baltic States and their former eastern master.

The film poses the question: can the Baltic communities in North America preserve and sustain themselves in the future? In the face of current community apathy and after helping fight for their freedom for decades, how secure are the Baltic States?

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Russian Tank in Snow

Russian Tank in Snow

NATO Headquarters Brussels

NATO Headquarters Brussels

Estonain Honourary Consul in Toronto, Laas Leivat

Estonain Honourary Consul in Toronto, Laas Leivat

Estonian Diplomat, Daniel Schaer, Kabul, Afghanistan

Estonian Diplomat, Daniel Schaer, Kabul, Afghanistan

CIA document about Eerik Heine's alleged KGB involvement

CIA document about Eerik Heine’s alleged KGB involvement

Former Liberal leader, Bob Rae

Former Liberal leader, Bob Rae

Former Lithuanian Foreign Minister Utsakas with Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright

Former Lithuanian Foreign Minister Utsakas with Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright