Director: Mika Kaurismäki

Country: Finland

Year: 2020

Duration: 1.30

Languages: Finnish / subtitled in English

Original name: Yö armahtaa

Category: , ,

Debuting at Tallinn’s PÖFF festival, the dialogue film by cosmopolite Mika Kaurismäki takes place in the iconic Corona bar in Helsinki, an establishment co-owned by Kaurismäki himself. Originally, the film was supposed to have been shot in Dubai but due to the pandemic, Gracious Night was finally completed in the most exotic of locations in the director’s film repertoire: downtown Helsinki.

Gracious Night was shot on long, one-off takes without any actual script. In the late hours of the night on the eve of May 1st, a trio played by Pertti Sveholm, Timo Torikka and Kari Heiskanen end up drinking wine at a bar that is closed because of the pandemic. A film based on the characters developed by the actors themselves and improvised dialogue is indeed a sister film of Three Wise Men (2008).

Besides the trio who vent their troubles, only a few people can be witnessed on the silver screen, one of which is a woman played by Anu Sinisalo. Even with no masks around, the film also serves as a documentary about the corona era of deserted streets and empty bars. (Joonatan Nikkinen)