The sinking of the MS Estonia, the deadliest civil maritime disaster in European waters, and its aftermath are chronicled in this powerful drama series.
Måns Månsson, Juuso Syrjä
Just after midnight on September 28, 1994, the MS Estonia is caught in a catastrophic storm on its way from Tallinn to Stockholm. The cruise ferry is fully loaded and dangerously lilting from side to side; the 989 people aboard, a mix of guests and crew (including Kaspar Velberg), begin to panic. As the ship begins to sink, one of the worst maritime disasters of the 20th century is underway: a tragedy that will involve numerous nations, hundreds of lives lost, and many families impacted forever.
Rescue efforts by helicopter are underway, but the stormy weather and choppy water mean that one of the rescuers, Ari Luoma-Aho (Pelle Heikillä) has to retrieve each survivor from the life rafts. At the Swedish port, priest Mikaela Karlsson (Cecilia Milocco) and a team of volunteers prepare to receive hundreds of the passengers’ family members who are looking for answers. In the days following the tragedy, an international investigation begins. Swedish, Finnish, and Estonian interests are cautiously advanced, as efforts to figure out what happened ― and who to blame ― become entangled with political agendas.
Visually arresting and deeply moving, Estonia ― created by Miikko Oikkonen (Bordertown, The Mural Murders) and directed by Måns Månsson (The Yard) and Juuso Syrjä (Bordertown) ― serves as both a meticulous historical record and a devastating examination of the human cost of this tragedy. The narrative here keeps us grounded in the daily, lived reality of individual people: those who are haunted by the events of this night, and those who will fight to ensure the truth of what happened is never forgotten.
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
Content advisory: frightening scenes