Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hilton! Täällä ollaan elämä

Hilton! DocPoint Opening Gala, Bio Rex, Helsinki, 22 Jan 2013. English subtitles in the beginning of the movie.

The Festival opened by Ulla Bergström - Apollo Prize awarded to the editor Tuula Mehtonen, by Erik Söderblom and Erkki Astala.

The opening film introduced by the producer Markku Tuurna and the director Virpi Suutari who welcomed many of the people featured in the film and the crew on stage.

Erja Dammert in the DocPoint Catalogue: "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."

"Life gives each one a quantum of care, and the main characters find a little something to lean on in the world. Make cleans his apartment and by doing so, he also cleans the mess that his life has turned into. A baby girl Luna is born and fills her young mother with love. Hope lives in the heart of the tenement and its inhabitants." Erja Dammert | translation by Emmi Kivinen

Virpi Suutari
71 min, Finland, 2013
Format: 2K DCP
Photography: Heikki Färm
Editor: Jussi Rautaniemi
Sound: Olli Huhtanen
Production: Markku Tuurna / Filmimaa

Featuring: Janne, Toni, Mira, Pete, and Make.

The screening was dedicated to Make, who died today.

The title Hilton is the ironic nickname given to the tenement house maintained by Itä-Helsingin nuorisosäätiön vuokratalo (the social security system).

The young drop-outs: a devastating situation, a vicious circle, an evil chain reaction. In fiction film we know Wild Boys of the Road, A Passport to Life, Sciuscià, Los olvidados...

Virpi Suutari goes inside the tenement house and we get to follow a group of young people in situations of amazing intimacy. It is incredible that we can get this close to a terrible reality. We see how they live, and as the film proceeds, we get to learn about how they have come this way. On the other hand, a child is born. A recurrent mofif: invoices are torn in pieces, and pieces of paper fly around like snowflakes.

There is a good sense of structure and rhythm in the film.

The ethical dilemma in movies like this is extreme. Literally it's a matter of life and death, a play with fire. The protagonist of Reindeerspotting died. One of the protagonists of this movie is now dead, too. I frankly do not know what to think about non-fiction films with protagonists who may not be equipped to defend themselves. Yet I fully trust in the ethical standpoint of Virpi Suutari and Markku Tuurna.

The visual quality: low definition, sometimes extremely low definition (mobile phone video footage), used as a means of expression.

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