Kites Over Helsinki     - A    Narada    Film Review

Kites Over Helsinki,    Director: Peter Lindholm,   Producer: Klaes Olssen, 2002

      Viewed On 21 June 2002 .       Kites Over Helsinki is one of the better entries in the current EU Film Festival in Bangkok    (Finnish/Swedish w/English subtitles).   The movie closely follows the novel of the same name, authored by Westo Kjell , a renown verse / short story writer.    At first glance, Kites Over Helsinki appears to be a story of the changing fortunes of a well-to-do and reasonably contented family in Helsinki, even though we are tipped off early that it is a "story of a man".    Excellent storytelling reveals this to us as the movie unfolds.
            The recurring theme of "Kites over Helsinki " is really the symbolic flying of kites, which is always closely linked to the family being together, as in a group, as well as together as "a united family".
            Young Riku Bexar ( Paavo Kerosuo ) idolizes his older brother Daniel (Dani) ( Pekka Steng ), who is intelligent and rebellious.    But, it is the 70's and Dani is getting into the hippy lifestyle, and the hippy music scene.    It seems Dani can do no wrong - however the stern father reacts mildly, at least at first, to the Dani's rebelliousness.
            As Riku grows from his early teens, through his late teens and into adulthood, he sees that his boyhood idolization of Dani was misplaced.    Meanwhile, Dani gets into the drug culture, further degrading himself in Riku's eyes.   The family's problems become manifest, both at home and career-wise.
            Trajedy - a death - befalls the family, and it seems that it will shatter the fabric irreparably.    At the funeral, and immediately afterward, the family is together once again, at least as a group, but would there ever again be the flying of the Kites Over Helsinki ?
            A singularly stellar performance by Pekka Steng as "Dani ".
        Enduring Line Or Phrase:   "You sucked up all the air."

Reviewed by Narada for Bangkok Eyes - 21 June 2002

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