Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Hymyjen maa / The Land of Smiles

FI/TH 2014
PC: Höyry Films Oy
P: Heikki Häkkinen, Joni Luomanen
Directed by: Heikki Häkkinen
Written by: Heikki Häkkinen, Joni Luomanen
Cinematography: Joni Luomanen
Edited by: Joni Luomanen
Music: Mikko M. Koskinen
Color grading: Sampsa Lehtinen
Produced by: Heikki Häkkinen, Joni Luomanen
Dramatist: Pekko Pesonen
2nd camera: Eero Lämsä
Sound recording: Joni Luomanen
Voiceover recording: Henry Kaprali
Sound post production & mixing:
Henkka Niemistö / Chartmakers Oy
Graphic design: Teemu Koskenoja / Anthem Graphic Oy
Website: Jussi Solja
Translations: Laura Haavisto
Thai translations: Mali Turunen, Kanyarat Mäkinen
DCP-production: Jussi Sandhu, Ville Hakonen / Wacky Tie Films Oy
PR: Manna Katajisto
    SPECIAL THANKS: Tuomas Kela, Kaarina Kela, Päivi Rantanen, Raimo Tuppela, Jari Vuoristo, Essi Suomela, Noora Räisänen, Tomi Puhakka, Ulla Simonen, Ilona Tolmunen, Eveliina Maaninka
    THANKS TO: A-Klinikkasäätiö, Khwanta Hansuri, Mika Lahnanperä, Jyrki Mäkinen, Restaurant Alex, Ride, Jussi Solja, Kristiina Wheeler, Timo Vuorensola, Tomi Saarinen, Marketta Häkkinen, Vesa Virtanen, Ossi Riita
    PEOPLE WHO DONATED TO HELP TUOMAS: AK, apasra, Borde, Corzi, Hihhih, I ovn, J__, Jimbeam, jkfkr, Jocce, Jombie, Jone, Julle, JUPESO, Juusot, ko vis, Lappis, Läskipää, M. Vanninen, MauKhang, Natus, Nitalis, P. Peltomaa, Raid71, RAMITI, Ride, T. Mether, Tiiku-m, Wagner
    Contact: Höyry Films Oy / Joni Luomanen,
    In Finnish, English, and Thai, with English subtitles.
    Tampere Film Festival (National Competition 2), Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Official introduction: "How far would you be willing to go in order to help out a friend?"

"Tuomas, a man in his thirties, has lost everything in Thailand – his family, his possessions and the trust of his friends. Hoping to qualify for an early age pension in his native Finland, Tuomas is in such a bad shape that even his legs can’t support his skeletal body anymore."

"Will anything change when Tuomas’s friends decide to help the man with a drinking problem for one last time and set out to get him home from the streets of Thailand?

Tampere translation: "Thomas, a man in his late thirties, has lost everything to Thailand - his family, his wealth, and the trust of his friends. Dreaming of early retirement he has fallen in such a bad shape that even his feet are not able to carry his skeletal body anymore. Will anything change when the friends of the alcoholic Thomas decide to help him one last time and bring him home from the streets of Thailand?"

AA: Unflinching, personally engaged documentary film-making in extremis. The film-makers are fully involved in the horrifying rescue story. The camera is ubiquitous, recording surprising aspects of Thai life, even a visit to the hospital.  Lao Khao liquor is killing Thomas. This is an account on utter marginalization. A four day trip ends to an emergency room in Finland. But during the end credits we learn that after rehabilitation and having been granted early retirement Thomas returned to Thailand.

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