Having moved to Paris for university, Leevi returns to his native Finland for the summer to help his estranged father renovate the family lake house. Tareq, a recent asylum seeker from Syria, has been hired to help with the work, and when Leevi's father has to return to town on business, the two young men establish a connection in the heat of the Finnish summer. Viewing Finland from both the perspectives of an immigrant and an emigrant, the film casts the long-marginalised voices of sexual and ethnic minorities centre-stage in a story about the search for freedom, acceptance and a place to call home.
- A Moment in the Reeds review by KW
Interesting take on the use of migrant workers in parts of Europe to do work the locals will not undertake, and the issues raised when a local businessman hires a refugee Tariq from Syria to help renovate his country cottage coinciding with a visit by his son Leevi from Paris where he is studying. An attraction develops but cannot develop due to the cultural differences and the ghost of Leevi's mother who had died some years earlier. Not an outstanding film and it did get a bit bogged down in parts towards the end, and perhaps would have benefitted from 10-15 minutes being pruned from the run time.
It’s a fairly simple story but at times is poetic in its telling, with poignant moments that explore issues that have larger implications on the individuals lives. The father and son have a complicated relationship that also adds to the strain of a love story that’s threatened by cultural differences. A complex tale that is told well and delivered with good cinematography but ultimately just came up a little short for me, with an ending that left little resolved.
I did have high expectations but sadly they were not met. There is no erotic tension whatsoever, the part-unscripted dialogue is stilted, and the father / son relationship not convincing. I didn't watch to the end because I simply wasn't interested in what happened.