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In 1953, Stalin rules the Soviet Union with an iron fist. A young Estonian resister named Endel Nelis (Märt Avandi) escapes the inquisitive eyes of the Leningrad KGB by accepting a position as a phys ed teacher in the Estonian Baltic backwater of Haapsalu. Taciturn by nature, and chafing at the bit forced on his homeland under occupation, he has zero rapport with the boisterous youngsters whose energy he is now in charge of channeling. When he tries to initiate an after-school ski club, the sour-faced Soviet lackey of a school principal tells him . . .

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