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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

RARE EXPORTS; A CHRISTMAS STORY

By D.E.Levine

Director: Jalmari Helander
Writer: Jalmari Helander and Juuso Helander (original idea); Jalmari Helander (screenplay); Petri Jokiranta (dramaturge); Sam Parkkinen
Cast: Onni Tommila, Jorma Tommila, Tommi Korpela, Rauno Juvonen, Per Christian Ellefsen, Ilmari Jarvenpaa, Peeter Jakobi, Jonathan Hutchings, Risto Salmi et al.
Producers: Agnes B, Anna Bjork, Francois-Xavier Frantz, Petri Jokiranta and Knut Skoglund
Line Producer: Anna Bjork
Original Music: Juri Seppa and Miska Seppa
Running Time: 84 Minutes
Country of Origin: Finland
Language: Finish with English subtitles
Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy

Have you ever thought of Santa Claus as being a sinister figure? Well, in this bizarre Finnish fairy tale, Santa is sinister and he and his demon helpers kidnap children.

Set in northern Finland just before Christmas, and American drilling operation unearths a giant block of ice that spouts gigantic horns.

When children from a neighboring village start disappearing and the local reindeer hunters find their annual reindeer crop slaughtered, it's obvious something's amiss.

Only a little boy named Pietari understands who's behind the foul deeds and he has to convince his father about what's happening and that they should fight back.

This strange fairy tale portrays Santa as a wizened troll who bites off ears while his demonic elves are naked, wizened graybeards (filming in the buff in the frozen north of Finland must have been challenging).

There's a lot of deadpan humor in this tale but beware very young youngsters will be terrified of Santa after seeing this film. Tweeners, on the other hand, will probably admire and cheer on the child-hero.