The Dystopia programme of the Tampere Film Festival is created to comment on the current state of our environment and of the humanity. The programme does not contain sombre pictures of threats from the outside, but instead focuses on manmade problems such as the sustainability and climate crisis. Although the situation is dire and we live on a knife-edge, the films also exhibit a sense of humour and hope. After all, dystopia is utopia’s ugly relative.

Dystopia 1 launches with the witty social satire Mercy All The Way (2014) by Hannaleena Hauru. It may be interpreted as a utopia for the men’s movement or a dystopia for the advocates of an equal society. Other films in the same screening, Wild (2019) and Postcards From the End of the World (2019) observe the traditional, Western nuclear family. In Tierra Mojada (2018), a Columbian forest echoes our actions.

Whereas the first screening focuses on humans, Dystopia 2 consists of films about human actions to the environment. The themes include conspicuous consumption, problematic energy sources and intensive farming. In Fruits of the Looms (2018) by Jaakko Pallasvuo, Jari Kallio and Antti Jussila, a capitalist and a communist search for new ways to live. The screening concludes with Realms (2018) by Patrik Söderlund, which is a dreamlike analysis from the beginning of evolution all the way to the end of the human era.

The Tampere Film Festival organises a discussion about the topic together with Tampere University. The conversation is moderated by literary scholar Toni Lahtinen from the research project Environmental Risks, Dystopias and Myths in Contemporary Literature (Academy of Finland 2017–2020). In the panel are science writer and activist Risto Isomäki and film directors Hannaleena Hauru and Jaakko Pallasvuo.

  • Riina Mikkonen, programmer