Saturday, August 22, 2020

Aika jonka sain / One Half of Me


Tuukka Temonen: Aika jonka sain (2020) with Sebastian Rejman (Marko), Olga Temonen (Jaana), Ville Myllyrinne (Teppo) and Pilvi Hämäläinen (Marjut).

[No Swedish title].
    FI © 2020 Optipari Oy. P: Olga Temonen, Tuukka Temonen.
    D: Tuukka Temonen. SC: Olga Temonen, Tuukka Temonen. Cin: Aki Huttunen, Mikko Kaurio, Ida Tunturipuro. AD: Einari Saarinen. Cost: Riia Lampinen. Makeup: Satu Arvo. M: Miikka Huttunen. S: Asko Pennanen. ED: Juha Kärkkäinen.
    C: Olga Temonen (Jaana), Pilvi Hämäläinen (Marjut), Ville Myllyrinne (Teppo), Sebastian Rejman (Marko), Mikael Rejström (André), Satu Silvo (psychologist), Riitta Havukainen (Helena), Hilma Temonen (Elena), Helga Temonen (Eevi).
    All horses and their owners are credited.
    Loc: Elimäki, Kuusankoski, Kotka, Hattula, Kouvola, 20 July - 28 Oct 2019.
    Equestrian sports events: Kouvola Magic Monday, Kouvolan Ravit.
    104 min
    Premiere: 13 March 2020, distributed by Kuusan Kino Ky with Swedish subtitles by Textmakarna.
    Viewed at Tennispalatsi 8, Helsinki, 22 Aug 2020.

AA: Aika jonka sain had its premiere on Friday 13 March 2020. During its opening week in the cinemas, the corona emergency was declared, and cinemas were closed, including Kino Kellokas at Ylläs / Äkäslompolo where I had planned to see it. Now it was time to catch up.

Tuukka Temonen came to my awareness as the bassist of the Apulanta neo-punk / hard rock / alternative rock band, where he also started his film career. Soon he was directing cult music videos including Apulanta: Anna mulle piiskaa (1996). In the avalanche of music videos Temonen's vision and signature stood out as original: their raw power, rough edges and sense of urgency stemmed from the same wells as the music itself.

After dozens of music videos and commercials his company Optipari began to produce also feature films, starting with Presidentintekijät / The Campaign - The Making of a President (2014), a film which I have always held in high regard.

Tuukka Temonen is an embodiment of the spirit of enterprise and independent film-making. He goes against all odds, never giving up. Film-making is always hard work, but for an independent film producer many times more so. Temonen has the guts and the stamina to endure that.

Aika jonka sain is a true life story, a biopic of the rider Jaana Kivimäki who was paralyzed in a truck tailgate accident by the racetrack. Facing despair, she kept training, to compensate with her upper body muscles the loss of her command of her lower body. She even managed to get on horseback again as a para-equestrian. The film follows her saga until her first Paralympic Games. At the time of making this movie the real Jaana Kivimäki was still at it.

The film has been produced and written by Tuukka Temonen together with his wife Olga Temonen, and two of their daughters play the daughters of Jaana Kivimäki. Olga Temonen is a rider herself, and thus the film benefits from a documentary authenticity all the way, including the all-important habitus, stature and demeanour of a rider. The film is a paean to the joy of riding, loving horses and the life on the racetracks. In flashbacks we see how Jaana was introduced to horses by her own father.

The film is also full of tragic adversity. Jaana has nightmares of her father's violence. In an apparent case of Wiederholungszwang she has selected as a partner an abusive and violent criminal, Marko, who never helps her, not even when she cannot cope without help at all. Instead he wastes family money to a life of crime. He ends up in prison. In her darkest hour Jaana harbours thoughts of suicide.

But she is also surrounded by a real community spirit, including family, friends and racetrack people. This film does not take place in the city but in the countryside, probably somewhere not far from Kouvola, famous for its racetrack. A large community of equestrians has participated in the making of the movie, judging by the long list of acknowledgements in the end credits.

The account of Jaana's paramedical and medical care, including psychological rehabilitation (Satu Silvo plays the psychologist), is also rewarding.

There has been a lock inside Jaana that has directed her towards abusive men. When a good man, Teppo (Ville Myllyrinne), appears, she rejects him out of hand. Jaana gives him a catalogue of her troubles. "Whatever you have, I can take on my truck platform", says Ville. Jaana is in despair. "What do you mean, being so nice". She is not used to getting such attention from a man.

Aika jonka sain is a film strong on emotion: the despair in the intensive care unit, the mother's reaction to her loving daughters, the laughter at Ville's unorthodox courtship, and even sex in an unusual lovemaking sequence. It's a film about the triumph of the spirit. Finally, it's all psychological: thanks to her stamina Jaana recovers as well as she can. To her amazement she realizes that "I have now a better life than before the accident".

Aika jonka sain is an independent production, but it looks and feels big. There are liberal doses of drone footage, and I love the epic eagle eye views of the racetracks, also several extreme high angle shots and extreme long panoramic visions. They elevate the human ordeal of the narrative. Also the soundtrack has a big and majestic feel, an expression of a spirit that cannot be contained by adversity.

Vapaa kulkemaan
säv/san M. Mikkola, Otto Grundström
© & ℗ Levy-yhtiö

sov. Ossi Jauhiainen
Kristiina Brask, Harri Hyppölä ja Tahdistin-orkesteri

Jokainen aamu
San/säv Neumann
© Warner Chappell Music Finland


Anonymous said...

Ehdottomasti samaa mieltä! 👍🏼 Aivan huippu elokuva joka herätti ajatuksia.

Sen sijaan, englanniksi tuosta voi saada vähän hämäävän kuvan, koska Jaanaan viitataan jockey’na. Jockey’t kilpailee laukkahevosilla, eikä näitä ole Suomessa yhtään 🙂 Kilparatsastaja on vaan ”rider”. Samoin ”race track” on laukkaurheilumaissa laukkarata, Suomessa puolestaan ravirata. Yhdessä kohtauksessahan ollaan sellaisellakin, mutta onnettomuus kyllä tapahtuu ”riding arena”n vieressä.

Eikä ole tarkoitus nillittää! 😅 Leffan nähneet ymmärtää kyllä, muille avautuu ehkä vähän väärin, jos termit on tuttuja 😊

Antti Alanen said...

Tuntematon, kiitos huomiosta! Korjaan mielelläni, ja kun en ole hevosurheilun tuntija, virheitä voi olla muitakin. Mitä termiä käyttäisin race trackin sijasta? Antti