The Blockade March 21, 2014

Peeter Riba writes about Igor Bezinović's film "The Blockade".

Croatian students demand free higher education, it is a film about the anatomy of a rebellion. It is ironic that the students rioted in an intelligent manner, but did not achieved any real results. We, Estonians, have not rebelled, but our higher education is mostly free now. Undoubtedly, this has its own reasons, like the fact that their universities are yet to reach the crisis. Or it could be that the political elite or the community is just unwilling to invest in the education at large.

What can be admired about the situation in Croatia is that they are able to cooperate collectively. A similar movement could not manifest in Estonia due to excessive individualism. Here the student leadership would see a similar situation as an opportunity to position themselves, as has repeatedly happened before. We could learn things from Croatians and the format of this film allows us to see their experience as the riot develops. Students are the same everywhere, even the faces are the same.

And the rebellion ends at some point, as everyone have their own personal agendas and also the time for studies is a limited resource. Flags and banners are stowed away and the romantic memories kept to be recalled at a later date, in suitable atmosphere. At least they rebelled for a good cause, while, however, forgetting to explain why free higher education could be beneficial to the nation, not only for the students themselves. They also ignored the fact that disrupting the learning process of those who did not join the blockade was pointless from the beginning. As the situation did not change, they can try better the next time. But do not say, that they gained nothing from this: the freedom as a value has been defended and nourished honourably, regardless of its internal or external nature.