Finnish documentary filmmakers are pointing their cameras at the lives of their countrymen, simultaneously providing a portrait of contemporary Finland and a new vision of the nation's past. This weeklong exhibition celebrates the 10th anniversary of DocPoint, a Helsinki-based documentary film festival that takes place over six days each January, showcasing Finnish and international documentaries, spotlighting new Finnish films and student documentaries from film schools, and even offering master classes. A different Finnish filmmaker is named Festival Director every few years in order to bring in fresh ideas. DocPoint’s first Festival Director, noted filmmaker Arto Halonen, has said, ”The festival was a way of making a difference, to, in the midst of disposable content, create something that would get under your skin and stop you in your tracks.”
Sometimes eccentric, always unflinching, and tinged with melancholy and humor, the films in this exhibition—award-winning and noteworthy Finnish documentaries from 2009–11—provide American audiences with an intimate glimpse at a unique, stoic, yet vulnerable and remarkable people and nation.
Organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film. Special thanks to the Consulate General of Finland; Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland; AVEK – The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture; The Finnish Film Foundation; and DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival.