Friday, March 11, 2016

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Katja Niemi | Finland 2015 | Documentary | 11 min
P+D+SC+ED: Katja Niemi. DP: Eemi Lehto. S: Aleksi Tegel. Contact: Katja Niemi.
    The voice of thousands of women: Heini Vahtera.
    Tampere Film Festival (TFF), National Competition 11
    11+12 March, 2016, Plevna 5, 2

TFF: "It was like any other midsummer party before. There were a lot of people, everyone had fun, got drunk and naked. But one girl also got raped, by her friend`s fiance."

AA: The voiceover of a woman's account of a group of men and women in a hot tub naked. I still do not know what happened when I was sleeping in the room. In the courtroom it embarrassed me to tell about it. I was afraid if it were my own fault. I was drunk and went to sleep in a cabin. I remember very little of what happened. Two girls entered screaming. Next time I realized my friend's fiancé is having sex with me. My menstrual cup was still inside which is why it felt painful. Two girls asked what was wrong. I told them. The other girl said there had been a similar experience. She claimed I was partly guilty myself and not to spoil the Midsummer feeling. One boy said it's a rape. I instinctively thought it was not a rape. There was something wrong. I was very ashamed. What if it was my fault after all? Why was I so drunk? Why was I carousing naked? I had feelings of being discarded and did not want to summon the police. I was afraid that the police would despise me. I had a feeling of shame and being dirty and worthless, like an animal. That was an epiphany: how it feels to be a worthless animal. It was a new state of mind of which I was not aware of before. "If you take this to court, it will be a two year process, but I did not care any longer, as I realized it will take me years to get over it anyway". For me it was liberating to start the therapy. It was a place where I had worth. It's important that I have the courage to speak up. Every other woman has had the same experience and kept quiet about it.
    The image is one single long take of a close-up of a dead perch being gutted on a plank. Though gutted the perch is still having breathing reflexes. The guts are returned to the perch. Hands of a man and a woman alternate doing the gutting.

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