Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


About Selling a Summer Cottage & Water Tower Symphony

Water Tower Symphony
Panu Johansson, Finland 2023
Language: Finnish
Subtitles: English

Water Tower Symphony is a tribute to Finnish water towers and the memories associated with them in the form of an experimental film. As the title suggests, the piece gives the spotlight to Finnish water towers, the real eye-catchers of the local constructed environment. According to recent studies, these towers have become town symbols that create local identity. Water Tower Symphony not only documents but also revives this kind of everyday environment typical to Finland.

Production notes

About Selling a Summer Cottage
Helena, the main character of the film, grew up in a small town on the west coast of Finland in the 1960s and 70s, together with the emerging welfare in Finland. Her parents lived through the Second World War; her father was on the frontline, and her mother in her family home, burdened with helping to maintain the family. Helena’s family, the surrounding society and the era of her childhood profoundly shaped her experience. The landscapes of her childhood still live vividly in her mind.

– – In this personal film, Helena struggles with herself in trying to get to grips with her having to let go of the properties. In the end, life decides on her behalf.

Production notes

The softly nostalgic and melancholic documentary contemplates on how familiar places become meaningful to us. What could they tell about us when we are no longer here?

In the tenderly personal documentary, the director thinks about her family history and generational divides in her own family. Her children never had the chance to meet their grandfather, and the closest they’ve got has been when trying on his shirts. Through places and things, memories stay alive, but sometimes even they must be let go of.

Inari Ylinen

The director of About Selling a Summer Cottage Helena Öst is present in the screening on Wed, Feb 1.

Language: Swedish
Subtitles: English
Length: 73 min
Age Limit: S
Year: 2023
Production Country: Finland

Director: Helena Öst
Producer: Sonja Lindén
Production Company: Avanton Productions Oy
Distribution Company: YLE
Screenplay: Helena Öst
Editing: Helena Öst
Cinematographer: Marko Luukkonen
Sound Design: Janne Laine