Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Valkoinen raivo / White Rage

FI 2015. Documentary. 70 min. P+D+SC: Arto Halonen. Cinematography: Mika Orasmaa, Peter Finckelberg. M+S: Kirka Sainio. ED: Arto Halonen, Otto Heikola. C: actors playing roles during the entire picture.
    Contact: Art Films production AFP Ltd.
Tampere Film Festival (TFF). National Competition 1.
9 March 2016 | 16:00 | PLEVNA 2 | English subtitles

TFF official introduction: "This is the story of Lauri, and through him the story of other victims of both school bullying and a separate childhood trauma: victims full of white rage, which may lead to school shootings and other extreme acts of violence. The film is also about our society: a society without sufficient understanding or desire to address the emergence of school violence. Later on Lauri became an academic researcher and a respected scientist specialising in human aggression and violence. Yet when he was growing up he experienced extreme bullying. At two points – as a teen and again as a university student – he began to develop serious fantasies about committing mass murder. The documentary goes through Lauri’s life journey; how he became a carrier of white rage and how he survived this heavy burden by recognizing it and taking to action."

AA: There are two themes in this powerful film which combines documentary with fictional reconstruction: mass killings and bullying at schools and universities.

The soundtrack consists of the first person confession of Lauri who had entertained plans of mass murder at two stages of his life: at school and at the university. He had been a victim of violent harassment and bullying in both. At both stages he seeked help and found it in therapy. He identified himself as someone who looked too defenseless and too nice, an easy victim for bullying. He became an ideal target for bullying. If the bullied one switches school, he gets bullied again, since he has the stigma of the victimized. Lauri learned to dissociate himself from pain, even from physical pain and suffering. In the army Lauri was in his element with his passion for shooting, to the extent that his comrades in arms were alarmed. Even in the army he sought therapeutic help and was relieved from service.

Black rage according to Lauri is blind fury. White rage, in contrast, is not impulsive; the person is calm and collected, emotionally cold. White rage is not innate. One can control white rage all his life.

Interlaced are vintage news bulletins on the mass killings of Myyrmäki, Jokela, Kauhajoki, the planned Helsinki University massacre, and international mass killings such as Columbine and Utøya. Lauri discusses the dehumanization of the intended victims. He has also interesting remarks on the ISIS.

The taiko drum is an essential sound element in the movie, a signal of the drive of aggression.

"I will be a potential killer all my life" says Lauri who has studied aggression and violent fantasies deeply.

A disturbing film about a phenomenon that is latently much bigger than we are usually aware of.

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