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Home Reviews LFF 2010 LFF: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
LFF: Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 20:08
Director: Jalmari Helander
Cast: Onni Tommila, Jorma Tommila, Per Christian Ellefsen, Tommi Korpela, Rauno Juvonen

People in Finland are weird. They live in small houses in the middle of the mountains and chop up pigs for a living. Then, when footprints appear on their rooftop and dead bodies turn up, their children automatically presume it's Santa Claus.

At least, that's what little Pietari (Tommila) thinks. A good boy who's grounded by his protective beardy dad for no real reason, he clearly needs to get out more. Then, when a violent old man with no clothes on turns up on their land, he gets locked up in the shed and Pietarli is left wanting to get in. Talk about bad parenting. It's not hard to guess what would happen if they went on Jeremy Kyle. Hopefully Jeremy would get hacked to bits by psychotic old St Nick.

Yes, that's what Kris Kringle is like in Jalmari Helander's weird fairytale take on the jolly season. Shot with an eye for dark humour and shiny landscapes, it's a surprisingly unique affair, which avoids a retread of Tim Burton's macabre territory.

It helps that half of it is subtitled, but the tension needs no translation. You'll laugh at the sight of old men running naked through the wild snowy hills, but it's when it makes you jump that you realise just how terrific this twisted little tale is.


77 minutes of beards, children and a whole field full of bare-bottomed pensioners. Rare Exports is an unusual film from a freaky country. Excellent.


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