With only a few words and a lot of attractive film methods and with sounds of an Orthodox Church choir, folk and classical music, the Finnish director questions basic emotional conditions in humans, particularly focusing on delicacy of children. She has used the war in Chechnya as a basis for three different stories, painting each of them in one, dominant emotion. Thirteen-year-old cadets of the St. Petersburg military school occupy the first room. They are not there by their own choice – most of them come from dysfunctional families and the burden of their loneliness is huge. One of the boys will serve as an ‘entrance’ to the second room, the breathing room, where we witness cursed fate of seventy five little orphans whose parents were killed by Russians in Grozny. The last one is the room of remembrance – it crosses Chechnyan border and tells us about the tragedy of the people of the province of Ingushetia.
Pirjo Honkasalo was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1947. She graduated when she was 21. She made her first long-feature film at the same time. Her first notable work, Tulipaa, had its premiere in Cannes in 1980. This acclaimed and awarded director is a master of both feature and documentary films (she won the 2004 DocPoint Lifetime Achievement Award at HDFF); in addition to being a director, in her long career she also worked as a screenwriter and editor.
Melancholian 3 Huonetta
2004, 106', color, 35 mm
Niels Pagh Andersen, Pirjo Honkasalo