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ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS

Finland, 2001 (MIFF 2002, There Goes The Neighbourhood – Humour on Film)

Director: Markku Pölönen

Bowling over audiences at Berlin, Toronto and Montreal Film Festivals, Finnish auteur Markku Pölönens fifth film is a burlesque comedy with absurdist overtones. Cynical Helsinki real estate agent Rane Koskivuo heads home to sell the family farm, which he has not visited in 20 years (even for his father's funeral). On the road to the village, he's accompanied by a procession of strange and grotesque ghosts from his past - including his own childhood self - all pointing fingers of blame.

"The script is peppered with caustic aphorisms ('Men are like toilets: free, taken or full of shit') as well as karaoke numbers and surreal dance sequences; in one, a group of pensioners dance in their underwear. At times, the actors address the camera to sound off on their low opinions of the story.

"Pölönen has been on Finland's filmmaking scene for nearly two decades, but On The Road to Emmaus buzzes with the irrepressible anarchic spirit of a first or second feature. Its offbeat energy could make it a cult item with the same crowd turned on by the deadpan humour of Aki Kaurismäki." - Screen International

Markku Pölönen (born in Eno, Finland, 1957) was almost solely responsible for restoring viewer faith during the most testing times of Finnish cinema in the early 1990s. He debuted with Land of Happiness (1993), followed by The Last Wedding (1995), A Summer by the River (1998) and Badding (2000).

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