28 May 2014


PMR / In the State of Limbo
Directors: Meelis Muhu, Kristina Norman
A documentary about the unrecognized state Transnistria

Have you ever heard about Transnistria? No? You are not the only one. A narrow strip of land on the eastern shore of the river Dnestr, which gives the official name PMR - The Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic. A part of Moldova since the peace treaty in 1992 after the war between PMR and Moldova, where they where supported by Russia. Now they are longing for help from Russia again to gain independence for the somewhat 500 000 inhabitants on 3 500 square kilometers.

I watched the film with the eyes of someone that has never heard about Transnistria. That was easy. No Norwegian has ever heard about Transnistria. And I feel that the documentary gave me a satisfactory insight in both the existence and the mood of the state.

The documentary had me getting get sympathy for these people, so strongly wanting their independence. But at the same time, the film makes me understand how impossible that is. I see a state that is set back about 30 years to the Soviet time, a child that would not survive being exposed to the real world. But then again “this can not possibly become an independent country” knowing that this was exactly what was said about Estonia, Latvia, and probably also Moldova.

It is at the same time exotic, amusing and frightening that their consider their big saviour Russia. With the background of the Russian invasion and stir in Ukraine, I understand how important Transnistria may be in the future for an aggressive Russia as a foothold on the border of the EU and NATO.

The documentary follows the transition from one president to another. The former one has been in the chair since 1992, and has the support of the veterans. But then the younger seem to support the new candidate. The film makes me curious on how the change of government will turn it into a different state. I am given some clues, but still I wonder what will happen to all the nice old ladies that supported the former president. And what about the younger generations? We meet one revolutionary man, that wants a real change.

The documentary has recently become frightenly relevant, and before we know it, Transnistria may be the center of the news, when Russia make their next move.