Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Paris paradise

Jani. (YLE)
They are young, bored, and angry. They live in Rovaniemi, northern Finland, and their life is determined by drugs and crime. "Reindeerspotting", filmed by Joonas Neuvonen, a drug addict himself, and presented by Finland's broadcasting corporation YLE, tells the desperate story of 19-year-old Jani. He has lost two fingers to local gangsters and five years of his life to the morphine. "Drugs have come to Rovaniemi late", Jani says, "but they're here to stay."

Jani dreams of leaving Lapland and his old life behind, a life between withdrawal symptoms and the next shot, between jail and the next burglary. Robbing 5000 Euros from a grocery store seems to be the right way to start. A trip to Paris, an extra load of dope, a TV set in the hotel room: This is what paradise looks like.

"Reindeerspotting" is a film shot from a scaringly close point of view. A masterpiece, maybe a piece of art. Yet, it brings up burning questions about media ethics. And it is frightening beyond words.

Epilogue: Jani has not seen the film. He committed suicide after having been released from prison.

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