Jyrki Haapala

Jyrki Haapala

Jyrki Haapala is the writer and director of a film trilogy in Karelian language. With a dance artist’s background, Haapala approaches film narration especially through movement and rhythm. The scenes with a strong atmosphere are woven together through music and the verbal narration is bound together in a way to float on the visual and musical network.

Lindu is the second part of the trilogy thematizing transitions. The first part called Veneh describes wedding celebrations and a girl’s transition to a bride. Lindu, on the other hand, is a film about death and the Karelian mythology and rituals connected to it. In the film, the spectators travel together to follow their main protagonist’s own funeral service, in which the character receives a soulbird as a guide.

Besides transitions, the central theme of the films is the essential role of women in transitional rituals. In the traditional Karelian culture, the woman’s tasks were and are giving birth, helping at birth, benediction to marriage and burial. A crucial part of these transitional rituals is the women’s tradition of loud weeping, the so-called “itkuvirre”. In addition to the main protagonists, nature plays a central role in the films, taking the spectators on a nearly hypnotically journey into a mythical landscape. The language used in the film trilogy is Karelian and mainly the Livvi-Karelian language form.

Music plays one of the main roles in Haapala’s films. The composing process of folk musician and composer Saija Teirikangas fits well with Haapala’s “bodily” method of working with film. In the Lindu film, the musician Robert Tobin functioned as Haapala’s right hand throughout the whole creation and production process. The camera was operated by visual artist Tero Puha.

OAF curators’ comments: ”Haapala’s films addresses us with a mystical soundscape and colour scheme. In turn, the movement of the camera draws the spectator into the happening. The trilogy is a lifelike way of getting acquainted with tradition.”

Karelian films website

Film Screening event page

OAF X Karelian karaoke X Veneh movie event page