European Union Film Festival 2020
- Antti Jokinen
- European Union Film Festival 2020
Talented veteran filmmaker Antti Jokinen’s exquisite period piece is a biographical drama about groundbreaking Finnish painter Helene Schjerfbeck (1862–1946). Set in 1915, the film finds the then 53-year-old Helene, now largely a forgotten artist, living in the countryside with her elderly mother. Her last exhibition was years ago, but Helene has continued to paint for herself out of a deep commitment to art. Her quiet, reclusive life changes when she is visited by an art dealer, who discovers Helene and her many impressive paintings and wants to organize a large solo exhibition. This leads to an even bigger change. As a result of this new interest in her work, Helene meets amateur painter Einar Reuter, who is a passionate admirer of Helene’s art. Their friendship blossoms, as Einar soon becomes Helene’s close confidante and, perhaps, the love of her life. Given that he is 19 years her junior, however, can their relationship last? A fascinating commentary on the role of women artists in the early 20th century, Helene is also an evocative portrait of a Finnish society in transition against the distant backdrop of World War I. An elegant and artful film, Helene also features a marvelous performance by Laura Birn in the title role.
This virtual screening includes a pre-recorded Q&A with Helene star Laura Birn.
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