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HOMEBOUND - ESCAPE FROM THE PAST

Finland (MIFF 1990)

Director: Illka Järvilaturi

LIKE THE FILMS of Aki Kaunsmaki, lllka Jarvilatun's feature debut takes place at the fringes of Finnish society It depicts a grim, harsh and often violent world populated by itinerants and outsiders.

The source of Jarvilatun's screenplay was a newspaper story reporting the killing of an underworld criminal m the northern city of Oulu It is there that Mika, a talented, young university student who has moved to Helsinki, returns when the hitman his mother has married is released from jail When the hitman starts beating up and humiliating the woman, who runs a bar favoured by the local criminals, the underground plans a bloody revenge and the boy finds his decent life in tatters The portrait of characters caught in family traps, of a seedy small town that offers its inhabitants few opportunities, is captured m a style that is stark and raw Jarvilatura's narration is laconic and elliptical, and refuses to sentimentalise or romanticise its subject matter.

"I'm for story-telling I want to make an emotional impact on the audience," says the director Homebound certainly succeeds at making that impact on its audience With his first feature, which has already screened at the London and Berlin Film Festivals, 29-year-old Jarvilatun has clearly announced himself as a director to watch in the 1990s -(PKa)

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