Upon discovering that Eurasian lynxes– hunted to near-extinction a century ago in Finland– have begun to prowl anew across his land, reclusive farmer Hannu sets up trail cameras to track the elusive wild cats he calls his friends: Joseph, Velvet Eyes, Grumpy Girl, and Spot. Hannu’s footage soon sees the night open up to all manner of delightful wildlife encounters: a fox frightened by geese; a moose’s stand-off with a mirror; lynx cubs trailing after their mother in single file. Inspired by this indirect contact with the animals he has sworn to protect, Hannu dons a whittled lynx mask and enacts a few playful, primal rituals of his own in the moonlight, where the distinctions between man and beast begin to blur.
Director Juha Suonpää’s projections of trail footage over sauna smoke imbue this quirky documentary with a uniquely mesmerizing quality.
Grand Prix, Cinemambiente 2023
Series Media Partner
Pasi Hakkio, Niina Virtanen
Juha Suonpää, Hanna Kaihlanen
Alexander Markus Lembke, Juha Suonpää
Tuuli Kuittinen, Hanna Kaihlanen
Puuluup, Kimmo Helén, Tanel Kadalipp
Photo by Juha Suonpää
Juha Suonpää is an academic, photographer and filmmaker. Suonpää’s film Wolfman premiered in Visions Du Réel 2013. He continues to research and publish in the field of photography, visualizing science and the construction of the identity of a place.
Filmography: Vuores (2000); Wolfman (2013)
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