Star + Shadow Cinema
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Saturday, December 6 at 2:00pm
The Star & Shadow celebrates Finnish Independence Day with a showing of this fascinating insight into John Peel’s favourite Scandinavian band, Mieskuoro Huutajat, better known as the Finnish Shouting Choir. Thirty men in black suits and rubber ties shouting national anthems, children’s songs and excerpts from the Treaty of Europe, while upsetting the French government, and bemusing German reporters with their absurdity.
The Finnish Screaming Male Choir, Mieskuoro Huutajat, dressed in black suits, white shirts, and rubber ties is a unique choir which performs its repertoire by shouting and screaming. Led by the conductor Petri Sirviö, the choir has traveled during 15 years of existence from an idea in a bar table all the way to the front line of modern European performing arts, receiving the same strong reaction everywhere: the audience has been mostly exalted, and sometimes also shocked and bewildered.
SCREAMING MEN is an entertaining film about power, nationalism, intransigence and firm belief in your own art. The creative process of conductor Sirviö often leads to conflicts between the choir and the outside world – sometimes also within the choir. The film follows the choir both in Finland and on international concert trips (France, Japan, and Iceland) during a time span of five years.
In a similar way to the choir, the documentary walks the thin line between the dead serious and the absurd.
Best Nordic Documentary 2003 / Nordisk Panorama
Tromsöpalmen 2004 / Tromsö International Film Festival 2004
Special Mention / Marseille International Documentary Film Festival 2003
Special Mention / CPH:DOX – Copenhagen International Documentary Festival 2003
Quality Award / National Arts Council for Cinema 2003
Special Mention / Tampere Film Festival 2003