Singing for Lenin
De Riikka Kuoppala film 2014
My mother was a communist, my father was a communist. In a particular moment of time, and in a specific place, that here might be called “la périphérie”. I found some old letters and books, and pictures. The red in my mother’s membership card was not fading, even though the text on it was. I looked inside and saw a year written on it, and a picture of her, much younger than me now, pimples in her face and a nervous look in her eyes. Her missionary father always insisted that the whole family voted conservative. I did not find the Little Red Book I had heard my father used to carry in his back pocket in high school.
The film Singing for Lenin depicts one day from the morning to the evening at a Finnish summer villa. The film’s four protagonists, three 30-year-olds and an eight-year-old, spend the day in the maze-like building. They go through a family archive left by young parents, who passed away a long time ago. The documents concern the “Taisto” movement, a Marxist-Leninist movement of Finnish students and artists in the 1970s. The characters search for a relationship with the distant-seeming era and the dead parents’ past. However, there seems to be something vaguely familiar about the ones who participated, and the period has left its mark in the identities of even those born in the 1980s. Unidentified, polyphonic voices of testimonials intrude and draw a portrait of a disintegration of the utopian collective consciousness. Did it ever really exist?
AVEK et la Fondation Paulo
Oeuvres de Riikka Kuoppala produites par Le Fresnoy :