Finland

Virpi Suutari – Hilton! (2013)

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The roughly beautiful Hilton! gives the viewer a glimpse of life in a modern society, a life that young persons lead. Janne, Toni, Mira, Pete and Make live in a tenement owned by a youth foundation. Their attempts to take control over their own lives have been in vain. Toni says that it is gruesome to see oneself as socially excluded, but apparently he is just that. Despite of these facts, the group sticks together. Make, the father figure, has his freezer full of food: nobody has to leave his place hungry. Read More »

Ville Jankeri – Pussikaljaelokuva AKA Sixpack (2011)

Pussikaljaelokuva shows us a, particularly trying, day in the life of three marginalized young men: Marsalkka (Jussi Nikkilä), Henninen (Eero Milonoff) and Lihis (Ylermi Rajamaa). They are just out to enjoy a nice summer’s day with the intention of playing yahtzee, but things don’t quite go their way. They have their run-ins with a recently deceased neighbor, uninterested under aged girls and the police. Being chronically broke, they even manage to flub a courtesy visit with the intention of loaning some drinking assets. Even their attempts at leaving Kallio prove utterly futile.
Kallio, a district of Helsinki, is the main setting of the film, and some would argue the film is a contemporary love letter to it. Finnish critics have especially praised the film’s loving depiction of Kallio.
Pussikaljaelokuva is a comedy with nary a plot, driven by characters and dialogue… And the power of friendship. Read More »

Aki Kaurismäki – Total Balalaika Show [+ Extras] (1994)

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Description: On June 12, 1993, Audience of 70.000 people witnessed a historical event on the Senate Square in Helsinki. Leningrad Cowboys performed for the first time together with the 100 singers, 40 musicians and 20 dancers of the Alexandrov Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble, on the biggest stage ever seen in Finland. The programme included rock classics from “Happy Together” and “Delilah” to “Gimme All Your Lovin” and “Knocking On Heaven`s Door”, as well as traditional hits from the Ensemble`s own repertoire.

From the beginning to the end, the concert was a roaring success. Aki Kaurismäki and his crew filmed the event. TOTAL BALALAIKA SHOW is a documentary on the concert, and extraordinary, unforgettable encounter of the old and the new, of East and West.
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Tarja Mattila – Tupakkatytöt aka Tobaccogirls (2006)

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The documentary film Tobacco Girls is a story of working class women that were made redundant from the Amer tobacco company in the spring of 2004. It describes the last days in the factory and what kinds of problems women face in trying to find new jobs. The film follows the lives of the few women made redundant over a year and especially how this affects them and the kinds of problems they have to solve.

Most of these women have been working in the factory for the best part of their working lives and it is difficult to take on a new job. Younger women try to retrain themselves or are looking out for new employment. One of the main characters has a case being heard in a labour court because associates have afflicted her. The other one finds a solution by undertaking to be her mother´s carer.

The theme developed shows how globalization has changed the thinking in manufacturing. Factories are disbanded so that the production can be removed to an area where labour costs are lower, and like at Amer, to enhance the company image. Older workers become unemployed.
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Veli-Matti Saikkonen – Manillaköysi AKA The Manila Rope (1976)

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First of all, You have to give points for pulling off using humouristic elements as brilliantly as this, to describe something as dreadful as war. There aren’t many movies that have achieved that without feeling constrained, or more or less morally repulsive. Kubrick and Coppola were masters of that section, and Veli-Matti Saikkonen doesn’t come far behind with his interpretation of Veijo Meri’s classic novel.
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Risto Jarva – Kun taivas putoaa… AKA When The Heavens Fall… (1972)

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Synopsis
A psyhiotherapist’s life is wrecked when her private life is exposed in a sensation magazine. Read More »

Peter von Bagh – Kreivi (1971)

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Portrait of a real-life swindler — played by himself! Von Bagh’s feature debut: a weird ‘n’ wild mix of fact and fiction, documentary scenes and exuberant reconstructions of purportedly true-life events, full of lewd humor and driven by a good-natured humanism. A true discovery Read More »