Under a Burning City

Short film and video installation (approx. 17 min)

Under a Burning City is a film about memories of the war and their transfer to the next generations. The protagonists, an elderly woman and a teenage girl, are exploring the signs of the war in the city, but they cannot find a common language to share their experiences.

The film takes place in Helsinki, the city that was the target of a series of bombing raids 70 years ago. Living with the memories will be one of the themes of the film as well as the difficulty to discuss the memories with someone who has not experienced the same. The stories about the Second World war affect those who did not witness the incidents, even after several generations. Finnish children are still afraid of the war.

The screenplay is based on interviews of women who experienced the war in Helsinki and archive material. It consists of moments seen through the eyes of a child that tell us about the start of the war, nights in a blast shelter, the darkening of the windows and watching the Inarintie street burn. The stories do not form a unified life story of a single person or aim at finding an objective truth. Indeed, one of the starting points was to show the subjective nature of history writing. Stories from the past serve as building blocks of identity both for individual people and the whole nation. The aim is to remind the viewer of the presence of the traces of the war in Helsinki and to make visible a piece of history that many inhabitants of the city know nothing about.

Please contact me to get passwords for video preview.

Installation view, La casa di biscotti, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, 2013

Installation view, Galleria Forum Box, 2011



Original format: HD and RED

Screening formats: DVD / Digital Betacam / BluRay

Director, writer: Riikka Kuoppala

Cast: Ilona Karppelin, Liisa Virtanen

Cinematography: Jan-Niclas Jansson

Editor: Ilkka Rautio

Sound designer: Jyri Pirinen

Music: Lauri Wuolio

Stills photographer: Paula Lehto

Producer: Riikka Kuoppala / Oy Petomaani Ltd.

Production support: AVEK, Yle Yhteistuotannot, Finnish Film Foundation, Visek, Arts Council of Finland, Finnish Academy of Fine Arts

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