This documentary tells the story of Jani, a 19-year-old drug addict living on social welfare among with his friends. Tired of his life in a remote city in Rovaniemi, he decides to travel by... See full summary »
Aimed at the adventure seeker, Departures is an action-packed and personal journey about two travelers. Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach leave their lives behind in search of unique ... See full summary »
It is the summer of 1941. An eastern-Finnish machine gun company receives an order to turn in their surplus equipment. The company is transferred to the front lines. The next morning the ... See full summary »
The story bases on four Finnish brothers, nicknamed 'the Eura Daltons' who received nation-wide notoriety for tearing gas pumps apart when they needed cash. The cast is an impressive one: ... See full summary »
The first two seasons were made only for Finnish audience and so main language that was used was Finnish. On the third season Finnish was replaced with English as the show was sold to several other countries. See more »
Proudly taking on the flag of Mondo-documentaries, while beating many "Pros" at their own game
I must admit, I remain a skeptic when it comes to amateur-shows, which usually end up on YouTube or similar channels, be it traveling-, cooking- or whatever-shows. There's usually a good reason why few of those shows or participants will remain on these channels for evermore, because not everyone has what it takes to work for BBC or National Geographic. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Such as "VICE News" or "Madventures", which are capable to compete with the big names and seem just fine to have kept their artistic freedom at the price of remaining relatively obscure.
When one thinks about Mondo-documentaries, one automatically thinks of Italy, the late 60's and early 70's and of course a rather seedy reputation that this genre has gotten. Not undeservedly, I might add. Not that most Mondo-material wasn't authentic, (even if there have been instances of fake- or staged-footage), but the patronizing tone, often bordering on racists and the voyeuristic approach made sure, that the Mondo-trend soon died off, or at least disappeared into obscurity. Finland isn't exactly the first place that comes to mind when thinking about Mondo and we would do "Madventures" a disservice, if we'd merely write them off as pure Mondo. But the main elements are present: Two average guys, presenter Riku Rantala and his camera-man Tuomas "Tunna" Milonoff, are vagabonding around the glove, armed only with a camera, always searching for the exotic, shocking and unusual. In one episode they may be dining on platters of penises and dog-meat in China, visit a rather friendly tribe of headhunters in Papua New-Guinea or witnessing a ritual of a cannibalistic sect of Gurus in India. They travel along rather care-free, without making pretensions of deeper, anthropological observations, something like a mix of Mondo, backpacker-travel-show and a home-made version of "Jackass". One of the trademark of the show is the "Mad Cooking"-sequence, which would make Andrew Zimmern blush and turn towards vegetarianism (an example would be Tunna frying and eating his sister-in-laws placenta in one episode that that focuses on cannibalism).
While, as said, the shows lacks the depth of more "professional" travel-documentaries, but compensates with a fresh, tongue-in-cheek approach and a keen eye on the obscure and shocking, that many other shows may shy away from. Another downside may be, that Riku often comes across as slightly annoying and chatty, rather unusual for Finns, which prompted a friend of mine from Finland to speculate, that Rikus ancestors may be Swedish. Indeed, it is this kind of show that makes you want to throw a few shirts and underwear into a rucksack, stick a needle in the globe and take off to some place without bothering about hotel-reservation or googling for tourist-attractions. An 8/10 might seem a little low, but those two points are solely deducted for small technical flaws. As far as travel-shows go, "Madventures" is rather unique.
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