Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hölmö nuori sydän / Stupid Young Heart (Finnish gala premiere)



2018
Theme: Gala Films
Country: The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland
Director: Selma Vilhunen
Screenplay: Kirsikka Saari
Starring: Jere Ristseppä, Rosa Honkonen, Abshir Sheikh Nur, Ville Haapasalo, Pihla Viitala
Production: Elli Toivoniemi, Venla Hellstedt / Tuffi Films
    Language: Somali, Finnish    Subtitles: English
    Distribution: Nordisk Film
    Print source: Nordisk Film
    Cinematography: Lisabi Fridell
    Music: Timo Dirksen
    Editing: Michal Leszczylowski, Yva Fabricius
    Loc: Itäkeskus, Helsinki.
    K12
    102 min
    Helsinki International Film Festival (HIFF), Finnish Gala.
    In the presence of Selma Vilhunen and Rosa Honkonen.
    Presenters: Anna Möttölä, Pekka Lanerva.
    DCP with English subtitles viewed at Bio Rex, Helsinki, 25 Sep 2018

Production notes as quoted by HIFF: "Stupid Young Heart is a film about the first love between the skinny and carefree Lenni and the gorgeous and popular Kiira. Not yet in a relationship, nor out of highschool, they discover that they are expecting a baby. Lenni has nine months to become a man."

"Having grown up without a father figure, Lenni finds longed-for adult attention and guidance from an unlikely friend Janne, a member of a right wing group that has recently moved into Lenni’s diverse neighbourhood. After taking part in a scrambled attack on a local Mosque, while Kiira is rushed to the hospital to give birth, Lenni realises that he must learn to be a man in his own way, even though he never had a chance to be a child himself."

"Selma Vilhunen is a director and screenwriter of both fiction and documentary films. She is also one of the co-founders of the production company Tuffi Films. Her latest works as a director include the documentary Hobbyhorse Revolution [HIFF 2017], which premiered at the Tampere Film Festival and won the main prize in domestic competition as well as the Risto Jarva main prize. It also won several other awards in Finland and abroad."

"Her fiction feature debut Little Wing [HIFF 2016], which she both wrote and directed, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2016 and won the Golden Camera Taodue Award for best first or second feature at the Rome Film Fest 2016. The film also received the Nordic Council Film Prize in 2017."

"Previously, she has directed the short film Do I Have to Take Care of Everything? which received an Oscar nomination in 2014, as well as the feature documentaries Song (2014) and Pony Girls (2008). She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences." Production notes as quoted by HIFF

AA: Another little big film from Selma Vilhunen. A piece of candid realism with amazingly fresh performances from the young actors.

It is the oldest story in the world, but it becomes new in the hands of Selma Vilhunen, her screenwriter Kirsikka Saari, and the leading actors Rosa Honkonen and Jere Ristseppä.

Teenage pregnancy changes the lives of the 15-year-old Kiira and Lenni, the result of a one night stand during a party.

To the surprise of the audience and each other Kiira and Lenni agree on keeping the baby and moving together. They have no money, but they have a will and a plan to make it work.

As usual in the life of teenagers of the same age, Kiira is the more mature one, and Lenni has more growing up to do. What is worse, he is drawn to a circle of populist nationalist activists who keep sabotaging the local mosque and terrorizing people of colour.

This dimension of the film is topical and rewarding. We are made to understand backgrounds to racism, populism, and neo-nationalism.

The motherhood / fatherhood story is eternal and always new. The mother and the father are children themselves. They are children from broken homes. But their life-force is great. This contradiction is conveyed by Rosa Honkonen and Jere Ristseppä very well. The flow of emotions, instincts, and hormones is overwhelming in this movie.

Selma Vilhunen directs the movie with a great sense of humour.

There is a sense of raw immediacy in the often handheld cinematography which is based on a low definition, slightly denatured digital look, relevant to the world of social media videos.

BEYOND THE JUMP BREAK: THE FINNISH INTRODUCTION BY JOHANNA SIIK:
BEYOND THE JUMP BREAK: THE FINNISH INTRODUCTION BY JOHANNA SIIK:

Lennillä ja Kiiralla on yhden yön juttu. Bileseksillä on suurempia seurauksia kuin Lennin jatkuva lemmenkipeys: kuusi viikkoa myöhemmin Kiiran raskaustesti näyttää ostoskeskuksen vessassa positiivisen tuloksen. Ikää näillä Helsingin lähiössä elävillä nuorilla on 15 vuotta.

Hölmö nuori sydän on käsikirjoittaja Kirsikka Saaren ja ohjaaja Selma Vilhusen ensimmäinen pitkä yhteistyö Oscar-ehdokkuudella huomioidun lyhytelokuvan jälkeen. Se käsittelee isoja teemoja kasvatuksesta rasismiin ja arjen ongelmiin, joihin jokainen perhe ja parisuhde jossain vaiheessa törmää. Kiiran ja Lennin väärinymmärrystä ja väsymystä pursuava riitely Ikeassa toimisi yhtä hyvin kymmeniä vuosia vanhempien dialogina.

Nuori sydän on vasta kehittymässä, ja siinä on kaikki potentiaali hyvään, mutta myös virheisiin ja ylilyönteihin. Niihin ajautumista on mahdotonta nähdä ennen kuin nyrkinisku on tulossa kohti kasvoja. Jokainen tilanne on uusi, sillä elämänkokemus puuttuu.

Elokuvan yhdeksi teemaksi nousee tilallisuus niin yhteiskunnan kuin yksilön tasolla. Lenni ja Kiira käyvät ratkaisevan keskustelunsa rappukäytävässä, kun pikkuveljet valtaavat kotona makuuhuoneen. Ostarilla kytevät reviirikiistat, joita alakerran naapuri yrittää puhumalla selvittää, mutta Lennin äiti sulkee oven ja korvansa kuuntelematta lausetta loppuun.

Rosa Honkonen on tuttu kasvo elokuvasta Lauri Mänty­vaaran tuuheet ripset (R&A 2017), ja näyttelijädynamiikka valkokankaalla debytoivan Jere Ristsepän kanssa toimii saumattomasti. Lisabi Fridellin kameratyö ansaitsee erityismaininnan – niin taitavasti se kertoo, rajaa ja kulmittaa tarinaa.

Johanna Siik

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