Human as a Species Screenings

The two screenings of Human as a Species are a sequel to last year’s Climate programme. I have been pondering over our behaviour towards the environment, our own species and other species. Why do we wish to enslave the weaker creatures? Why can’t we find the purpose of life somewhere other than in the logic of growth? Why does our goal tend to be maximising our gains even when, rationally thinking, this is our last chance to slow down and settle for less? Why do we choose to self-destruct instead of preserving life? Homo sapiens, the animal scientifically proven to be self-aware and intelligent, is behaving like an idiot.

The two screenings I have compiled, Anymal and Homo Sapiens, do not provide direct answers to the questions above, but work as lightning rods. I have consciously set aside the separation between production animals and pets and, in this instance, chosen not to screen films about animal factories.

The films in Anymal deal with the relationship between human beings and other species. In the films the relationship is represented as comradery, as an inability to understand and as control. Our position of power enables or forces us to affect the living conditions of all animals, whether we want to or not.

The screening Homo Sapiens focuses on humans, but it feels impossible to examine us without other species. An animal blinded by their position, unable to comprehend the world they are not a part of. Veera (2016) entertains, but also emphasises the conditions in which zoo animals live. Eläintarha (2017) turns the situation upside down. Tribal Affairs (2020) scrutinises the internal hierarchies and absurdities of the human species, as does Wanted (1998), which takes a stand against selective breeding. The films A Finnish Fable 2011 (2011), Hva er en kvinne? (2020) and Passage (2020) make the viewers laugh; what is species-specific human behaviour like? Are we distinguishable among animals?

Riina Mikkonen
Head of Programme, Tampere Film Festival


Freedom to Move
– Antiracist films from the archives of AV-arkki

In cooperation with the Tampere Film Festival, AV-arkki, the Centre for Finnish Media Art, presents short films from recent years that use art as a tool to discuss racism, colonialism, belonging and exclusion. The films study the freedom of individuals, a couple and communities in an environment that primarily tries to reject them.

The Risto Jarva Award -winning Rovaniemi 50 cnt (2014) by Marja Helander is a humorous vignette about the obscure ways to describe Sami culture in less favourable settings. In Elina Oikari’s short documentary Hotel President (2018), the stories of asylum seekers contradict the imagery of the great men in the hotel in Berlin they are living in.

The film Lumeliitto (2017) by Anna Knappe and Amir Jan charms with its romantic wedding imagery, which is then challenged by the numerous questions from the doubtful immigration authorities. In Transition (2017) by Sepideh Rahaan is a poetic film that utilises split image in weaving together two originally Middle Eastern women living in Finland and their thoughts on their dreams and existence.

The Killing of Čáhcerávga (2020) by Miracle Workers Collective was first presented as a video installation in the Aalto Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019. The collective work is a continuum consisting of five imaginative short films, where the theme of disobedience is repeated in varying worlds and moods.

Tytti Rantanen
Programme Coordinator, AV-arkki