Eight Deadly Shots

Feb 10, 2008

Mikko Niskanen, 1972, Finland 35mm, 145 min


Niskanen's saga is simply one of the finest works of the Finnish cinema. It challenges the boundaries between life and film by giving form to the grief and pity found in only the most profound works of art. In a small Finnish rural community in the winter of 1969, a man shot four policemen who came to arrest him at his home. Director Mikko Niskanen went to visit this man in prison and partially based the script of this fictional film on their conversation. EIGHT DEADLY SHOTS dramatizes the helplessness of an individual in an unjust society. The film portrays the hardship of life for a small farmer's family. Though an itinerant preacher promises the joys of heaven as liberation from the gloom, alcohol brings numbness, and violence a brief feeling of power and life, none of these can provide salvation. As stated by Niskanen in the introduction, “This film does not claim to reproduce a real event although the story is based on it in some important respects. This is the truth I have seen and experienced, born myself in these surroundings”.

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