A new season is upon us; the days are getting a little shorter, hats and mittens are being pulled on left and right, and withered leaves are slowly covering Helsinki in a sheet of gold as the city quietens down for autumn. Yet across the capital, theatres are alive and buzzing in anticipation of the 28th annual international film festival, Love & Anarchy (17.-27.9.), which creative director Pekka Lanerva explains as having inherited its eye-catching name from Italian director Lina Wertmüller’s 1973 Film d’amore e d’anarchia: “It describes the festival perfectly; we not only have films about love and relationships, but there’s also politics, a lot of shaking things up and bringing new ideas to light” (Nyt-liite 11.9.2015).
Indeed, this year’s programme is no less spectacular and diverse, covering a range of genres and topics reaching from the isolated villages of Iceland like in Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson’s Paris of the North (2014) to the imperial courts of 800-century Tang Dynasty in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin (2015). Other gems include – but definitely not limited to – what’s presumed to be the last animated feature by beloved Japanese Studio Ghibli, When Marnie was There (2014); the Palme d’Or winner Jacques Audiard’s tale of the intertwined lives of three Tamil refugees in Dheepan (2015); and the widely acclaimed indie film Dear White People (2014) on ethnicity conflicts in an American college.
In addition to films, there’s also a whole slew of documentaries to choose from: find out how an 18-year-old Pakistani girl became the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and one of the most recognised activists for female education in He Named Me Malala (2015), or follow Claude Lorius on his expeditions to the Antarctica and through the history of the Earth’s atmosphere in Ice and the Sky (2015). There’s bound to be something for everyone and if there’s still room in your artistic soul for more, why not check out the many free events, such as seminars, short film screenings and after parties, hosted by the festival?
Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to watch some of the most visually stunning and thought-provoking contemporary films the motion picture industries have to offer right now. So slip into a dark theatre at the end of a busy day and let the stories on the silver screen take you far, far away…
For more information on the festival programme and tickets, visit the official website here. Note: All films have English subtitles.