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Iris has a dead-end job in a match-factory, lives with her dour and forbidding parents, and her social life is a disaster. But when she is made pregnant after a one-night stand by a man who thought she was a prostitute, she decides that enough is enough and plans her revenge... Written by
Michael Brooke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wanna know about Finnish culture? Watch this film...
Where to begin telling about this film? Throwing imaginary roses to Kaurismäki who has yet again showed all what a fantastic creator of films he really is?.
No one can as he describe Finnish culture in such a deep and sensitive, yet rough, way. He touches the string of our culture, our way of thinking and behaving in this special "silent" way as only he masters. In his films talking isn't done by words only but surely there's plenty of communication!
This film is beyond doubt my personal favorite (also the lastest film by Kaurismäki, Mies Ilman Menneisyyttä, is totally fabulous!!) because there's not much dialogue (which we Finns aren't too keen of somehow) but there's plenty of meaning, plenty of human tragedy (which we also seem to be fond of!) and also a hint from Kaurismäki himself that certain things maybe could be different but all in all everything comes down to the quetion of culture and indeed Finnish culture is different from most other cultures especially in Scandinavia.
Finns are often perceived as totally without oral skills almost not being able to talk however this is a fatal mistake to believe in. Finns just don't say anything if it's not necessary!! Why babble with no reason, why chat if it's not necessary..that's also why such a thing as the international wellknown concept of smalltalk is practically unknown here in Finland. It makes most Finns feel uneasy to talk if there's nothing real to talk about. But don't make the conclusion that Finns don't have feelings (even very deep ones!) and thoughts; that would be a fatal mistake. Finns are in everso many ways such a serious people that for most foreigners it looks like there's some sort of national depression going on but on the other hand when Finns party then they really party...
Life here in Finland is simple although also hypermodern; it's two "worlds" living side by side and exactly this fact can be difficult for anyone from outside Finland to comprehend because it seems so weird, almost even awkward. What makes a Finn happy...well, a little wooden house by the lake to go to in the summer, your own sauna (which there's plenty of here), a long and everlasting relationship and a cosy home...nothing fancy is high on the list of finnish "dreams of happiness"..maybe it sounded as I would generalize but sometimes it's necessary to make your point of view clear to "foreigners" who've never visited Finland.
The film itself shows a lot of how Finland still is...what things are all about; it contains strong emotions although it might not seem so at first. To some the film might even seem boring but beyond all those visible things there's a whole world of unsaid and in this particular film also undone things. In a stange way it contains as well the deepest seriousness as humour even though it is quite invisible to the eye. And however strange it may sound the film contains also love and deep passion; the scene where "Satumaa" is being played (just before Iris is picked up by the police) says it all! That's concequence, justice, love and real passion all in one small scene.
Maybe one needs to be a Finn (or a true Fennofile) to get something real out of watching this film but indeed it is worthwhile and if you're gonna buy it do please buy it on DVD because if you like it (and you definately will) a VHS won't last for that many replays...
So watch it and get wiser on Finnish culture; I give it all the stars possible, it really is a masterpiece of the very rare. It really is a film with a meaning and it surely has a message to all of us.
Yet again "Bravo Kaurismäki" for placing Finland on the filmic worldmap...
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