dir. Kristiina Karsten, Otso Reunanen, Silja Salmi, Finland 2024
The warm short documentary Beard takes on the relationship between looks and gender identity by following a session, in which makeup artist Kata Launonen teaches nonbinary Late Mäntylä how they can make a beard on their face. The beard is very meaningful for Late: it helps people see them as themself. As they work, Late speaks of the development of their gender identity and being inspired by Eurovision star Conchita Wurst.
“It feels good to be transforming into yourself,” Late says as they admire the end result.
dir. Anna Kekkonen, Finland 2023
The film dives into four people’s experiences of freedom in being in water. They all have a disability or an illness. Director Anna Kekkonen is also at home in water. She has dived and filmed underwater worlds for years. She offers the audience a never before seen and breathtakingly beautiful underwater world and an understanding of how limited our views on different people and their abilities often are.
Santtu Nikula (translated by Inari Ylinen)
dir. Kirsikka Saari, Finland 2023
“Whether or not you accept yourself should have no impact on how you’re treated by others,” says Evaleena Vuorenmaa, a dancehall instructor who loves her craft. During her first pregnancy, she gained weight and upon her return to work in a dance school, she was shocked to find out that she had been reassigned from teaching to cleaning. It seems that in the dance school, only those with certain kinds of bodies can teach dance to others. But instead of trying to change herself, Vuorenmaa decides that the world needs to change. This fresh and empowering film by Kirsikka Saari, a Jussi-winning filmmaker, raises the question of why we are so rigid when it comes to the kinds of bodies we deem acceptable.
Santtu Nikula (translated by Mira Sairanen)
In the Same Boat
dir. Mervi Junkkonen, Mia Malviniemi, Finland, Sweden 2023
The sea has been an important part of Rauno’s life, but with ageing, the sea has become more complicated to access. However, mind and body still remember all the sensations the marine environment brings about. As a part of the Artist at Home project, Rauno’s memories of the sea turn into dance. Together with a dancer visiting his home, Rauno takes us to one of the sea trips of his childhood to launch a boat and witness his father’s Finnish record in cursing.
In the Same Boat is a beautiful short documentary of the limits of an ageing body and the power of the limitless mind, which can transport one through times to the middle of distant memories.