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Reindeerspotting - Escape from Santaland (2010)
"Reindeerspotting - pako Joulumaasta" (original title)

 -  Documentary  -  8 June 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,054 users   Metascore: 45/100
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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 »


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Title: Reindeerspotting - Escape from Santaland (2010)

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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 train to various parts of Europe before being sent to imprisonment for several petty crimes. Written by Vilzu83

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Official Sites:




Release Date:

8 June 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reindeerspotting - pako Joulumaasta  »

Box Office


€149,979 (estimated)

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Did You Know?


With over 60,000 admissions it's the most successful Finnish documentary of all time. See more »


References Trainspotting (1996) See more »


Ode to Joy
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Universal Publishing Production Music
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User Reviews

a movie about Finland, its northern main town Rovaniemi, and about buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone) addicts that live there
23 July 2013 | by (Tallinn, Estonia, Europe) – See all my reviews

this movie is not a REAL documentary in the sense that many of the scenes are acted but yet there are some real raw scenes in the movie as well. For a first movie, which was probably done with a regular video camera that anyone can get their hands on, and a budget that wasn't huge by any means, i believe, it delivers what it should. Rovaniemi is a depressing town in Finland's North. The town is situated about 5km south of the Arctic Circle and there is a tale told to all the children when they are little, that Santa Claus lives there (In the arctic circle, In Lapimaa, to be exact, for Scandinavian children). I have no idea what people in U.S.A. tell to their kids but I think they just believe that Santa lives somewhere cold like Canada or Alaska and then when its the right time he rides his reindeers and drops the presents town the chimney although there is none in the apartment, so instead, someone rings the doorbell and - there it is - a big bag full of presents. Sometimes Santa is there with the bag but sometimes he is so busy that he just leaves the bag full of presents on Your doorstep for all the family to take inside, put them under the Christmas tree and then tell short Christmas poems in order to receive their gifts.

That is what in Scandinavia (Norway/Denmark/Iceland/Sweden/Finland/Baltic states/Germany etc) parents tell their children, in short.

In reality, its just a depressing town with 6 months of below zero weather 24hrs of the day and then about two to two and a half months of summer.

This movie tries to show the whole Rovaniemi drug scene but at some point of the movie it kinda "zooms" in on this one guy, who is a Subutex addict like all the other druggies in the town and not to spoil the movie or the ending I am not going to say any more but the second half of the movie is basically about this guy and his search for more and more Subutex.

There aren't any scenes that children shouldn't see so it's not a graphic movie but it's also a movie with a "plot" that children would mostly never understand or they would be bored to death after 15 minutes.

I recommend this movie for people who are interested in drug subculture, especially European. You get a peek into the life of Finnish youth in the extreme North where there is only their town and wilderness everywhere around them. If You think Finland is Helsinki, then this movie will open Your eyes a bit.

I live very close to Helsinki though not in Finland and can relate to the characters because there are people like this in my country too.

I wish it would've been more gritty and real but I understand that this type of movie could be made in Vancouvers famous Downtown Eastside. This is Rovaniemi, a town with a population of about 60k. There are no other towns of significance for a long ways each side. So if You happen to have born in Rovaniemi, there is a chance, that You have never even left the town. It's that isolated.

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