The 2017 Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival features the latest work by Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki. Kaurismaki first burst onto the international film scene as producer and director of the cult hit Leningrad Cowboys Go America in 1989. A prolific film-maker, he is often only seen in Australia via film festivals.
With a wealth of fine films, this year’s Festival opens with his latest, The Other Side of Hope, on July 19th at Palace Cinema. Opening night includes cocktails and a post-show party with live music and food.
Imbued with Kaurismaki’s signature humanity and humour, this work tells the story of a Syrian refugee, Khaled (Sirwan Haji), struggling to gain asylum in Finland, and to find his sister from whom he was parted somewhere in Europe. He is befriended by Wikstrom (Sakari Kuosmanen), an ex travelling salesman, who has recently bought a run-down restaurant, complete with three unusual employees. Kaurismaki delivers a commentary on the contemporary refugee crisis in Europe, by giving us its human and comical side, without preaching. Wrought in his hyper-realist style, the story is under-scored throughout with country and rockabilly music, from performers woven into the action. As always from this auteur, this is a masterful piece of film-making, and a perfect choice to open the festival.
Also in the program this year is Tom of Finland. Based on a true story, it tells of Tuoko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland, a celebrated artist of gay culture, and an icon in the fight for gay men’s rights. Directed by Dome Karukoski and starring Pekka Strang as Tuoko, the film will be shown as part of a special event on 27th July, which includes vodka cocktails and live music.
Other works in this sensational program include: The King’s Choice, which was the official Norwegian selection at this year’s Academy Awards; Danish crime thriller A Conspiracy of Faith; multi-award-winning Icelandic feature Heartstone; the documentary feature Magnus, which tells of chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen; and closing night choice, Swedish/Turkish A Hustler’s Diary. Closing night on July 30th also includes cocktails.
Scandinavian cinema has always been rich, innovative and glorious, as this program attests to.
Any lover of film should find something to delight them!
The 2017 Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival runs from 19th July to 30th July at Palace Nova Eastend.
Please note all festival showings are for patrons 18 years and over, unless otherwise stated.
Download the full program here.
Full list of Adelaide session times here.