// Presented as part of Filmatique's Teenage Wasteland Series //
Spotlight on Concrete Night
Pirjo Honkasalo / Finland, 2013 / Toronto, Belfast, Camerimage, Chicago, Dublin, Göteborg, Helsinki, Jeonju, Leeds, Prague, Rotterdam, St. Petersburg, Thessaloniki, Transilvania, Warsaw / 96'
Simo and his older brother Ilkka live with their often helpless and unpredictable single mother. It's the day before his brother is due to start his prison sentence, leaving Simo without a role model. Simo and Ilkka spend his last night together wandering the labyrinthine streets of Helsinki, bearing witness to the true nature of the urban jungle, and adulthood. In his brother's absence, Simo will have to learn his true face.
After working in documentary format for many years, renowned Finnish filmmaker Pirjo Honkasalo's fifth feature film examines notions of innocence, fear, and survival amid a looming urban landscape. Concrete Night premiered at Toronto, Göteborg, Rotterdam and Thessaloniki and took home Best Film, Best Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound Design, and Best Art Direction at the Jussi Awards, Finland's equivalent of the Oscars. Concrete Night was selected as the Finnish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, but was not nominated.
"One of the most gorgeous films at Toronto... the look of Concrete Night pulls the trigger on an explosion of visual memories and subconscious references, most of them linked to films of social importance, progressive thought, neo-realism and film as an art of visual nuance"
- John Anderson, Toronto Review, Indiewire