Director: Hanna Västinsalo

Country: Finland

Year: 2022

Duration: 109 min

Languages: Finnish / subtitled in English

Category: , , , ,

Hanna Västinsalo’s Palimpsest (2022) had its world premiere in the Venice Film Festival’s Biennale College Cinema programme and offers a speculative solution to the elderly care crisis. For the individual, though, it can mean another type of crisis, in which the biological body containing the same old mind can be rejuvenated right back to square one.

Octogenarians Juhani and Telle meet for the first time as roommates at an institution where they participate in a human genetic experiment. Juhani (Antti Virmavirta & Leo Sjöman) is grieving both for his wife, who died of old age, and his daughter, who doesn’t know how to relate to her father’s rejuvenated appearance. Telle (Riitta Havukainen, Krista Kosonen, Emma Kipimaa & Kaisu Mäkelä) is a lonely individual who casts off restraint in her transformation from sexually liberated adult and young woman to skater girl and beyond…

An enthusiastic Juhani describes to Telle how they can live as if it is 1969, but with all the wisdom and life experience they’ve acquired since then. ‘It is now 1969!’ However, the clock of the surrounding world has not been obligingly turned back, too. Palimpsest provides an antidote to the fear of ageing and the passage of time, and helps us question why we are here in the first place. (TR)