Sunday, August 25, 2013

Espoo Ciné

This film festival showcased more politically correct SWPL themes than any film festival I've seen. Many films dealed with LGBT, immigrant and disability themes. The most vocal advertiser hyped an organic cider, and the movie ticket was pink. Maybe it got a lot of state subsidies and the man who paid the piper called the tune? I went to see two historical movies.

VIRU - stories from a hotel (2013)

This documentary by Taru Mäkelä centered around Hotel Viru, an Estonian hotel built by a Finnish subcontractor in early 1970s. First, the construction of the hotel was filmed so that footage from advanced Western tools and ways of working could be used as education material. In the eighties Viru symbolized good life for Soviet elites, and travellers brought Western goods and influences to the Soviet union. After Estonia regained independence, the hotel was privatized and lost majority of the staff and cultural speciality. I enjoyed the film since it shows how the movements of historical tectonic plates play out in people's personal lives.

Ende der Schönzeit (2012)

This German historical triangle drama starts when an escaping Jew ends up as a farmhand to a farm where a married couple lives. As a drama film it is perfect: Humans behave according to human psychology. The people who have lived in the same village for tens of years can read each others just right, and are confused and foolish in credible way. The plot could use any number of war-related plot twists - like surprise inspections from Nazis - but instead stays consistent and watertight: the main characters know that an inspection would be possible and take effective measures to successfully prevent them using their long experience of local conditions! That's what humans do.

Unfortunately the film suffers a little from politically correct "preachitis" as immigrants are needed make more vibrant an environment where the patriarchy of white, German, heterosexual males (the root of all evil) beat their wives when drunk.

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