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BURNING ANGEL

Finland, 1984 (MIFF 1985)

Director: Lauri Torhonen

A true story, based on the life of a young nurse and her experiences in a Finnish mental hospital. The nurse, Tuulikki, is young, naive and idealistic when she takes up her duties. But she is immediately put to work on the 'locked women's ward'; and assigned Katarina, a particularly difficult patient Katarina, in fact is a brilliant young philosophy student who believes she is the 'fuse' for the 'Big Bang'. A pyromaniac, she is addicted to both fire and masturbation; and as Tuulikki learns to 'toughen up' on the job, Katarina drifts inevitably towards self-destruction. The hospital's attitude to Katarina's suicide is routine, but Tuulikki blames herself. In an atmosphere of strange sexual tensions, and collapsing mental faculties, Tuulikki shows the inevitable signs of 'cracking up'.

Burning Angel is Lauri Torhonen's first feature film.

"I chose to tell this story as a conventional narrative. It is not possible to depict insanity 'cinematographically'. I wanted to make the viewer identify with the main character - enter right into her world - and experience the same cosmos as her. The journey through time and space brings her face to face with people and events which are transitory, but nevertheless mould her fate."

- Lauri Torhonen

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