Ash and Money

Ene-Liis Semper, Tiit Ojasoo

Tallinn-based theatre company NO99 sets a bigger-than-life experiment. To undermine Estonia's rotten political scene, they create a fake political party using all the tricks of propaganda. Surprisingly, the party becomes very popular. A very smart mockumentary on manipulation in politics and media.

Politics as performance. This is what literally happens in Ash and Money, a fascinating Estonian documentary about the founding of the political party Unified Estonia (Ühtne Eesti) - which later turned out to be fictitious - by the NO99 Theatre. In March 2010, this theatre company announced it would be holding a party congress on 7 May - a report that sent shock waves through the political establishment in Estonia. What does the NO99 Theatre want? Are they a threat, or is it all an act?
Ash and Money, made by parties affiliated with the NO99 Theatre, not only shows what happened in Estonia during the 44 turbulent days between the announcement and the congress, but above all reveals how populist parties - such as Unified Estonia - operate and manipulate the people. Thanks to nationalistic advertisements, rabble-rousing songs, provocative and revealing videos and other demagogic means, the party rapidly soared up the polls, making those in power even more nervous.

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