A Moment In the Reeds

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Finland | 2017 | 107 minutes | Mikko Makela

When literature student Leevi arrives at his father's summer home, he meets Syrian refugee Tareq who is working on the house. Their weekend affair exposes generational and cultural chasms in an outwardly peaceful setting in Finland's first gay romantic feature.

Generational and cultural divides lay the foundation for this calming love story, the first Finnish feature film to be released with a gay character in the lead role. Literature student Leevi (Janne Puustinen) returns to his father Jouko's (Mika Melender) summer cottage in central Finland to help with renovations before it's up for sale. It's obvious from the onset Jouko doesn't approve that his son is gay, but regardless requires his help to get the project done. Matters complicate when Tareq (Boodi Kabbani), a Syrian refugee, is hired by an agency to assist in the project, and a summer affair ensues between the two young men. A widower, traditional Jouko struggles to grapple with the progressiveness of Finnish mainstream culture evidenced by his son and the handyman sent to his front steps. Leevi, meanwhile, is desperate to detach from his father and his old way of life, but Tareq views Finland as a beacon of hope and fears his conservative family's arrival to the new country and culture. From opposing perspectives, they yearn for a common ground. Enchanting melodies enhance the Finnish countryside in ethereal ways, entrenching their story with a sense of place in director Mikko Makela's debut film.

Director Biography
London-based filmmaker and editor Mikko Makela directed music videos, commercials, and fashion films before A Moment in the Reeds (2017), his debut feature. The film received its world premiere as the Official Selection for the 61st British Film Institute Film Festival in 2017 and was selected for the 2017 Les GaiCineMad Madrid International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. A native from Finland, Makela has stated that his hope is to fill in the void that exists in queer Finnish cinema.

Sponsored by The Stranger

  • Director: Mikko Makela
  • Principal Cast: Janne Puustinen, Boodi Kabbani, Mika Melender
  • Premiere Status: Seattle
  • Country: Finland, United Kingdom
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 107 minutes
  • Producer: Mikko Makela, Jarno Pimperi, James Robert Watson
  • Screenplay: Mikko Makela
  • Cinematographers: Iikka Salminen
  • Editors: Mikko Makela
  • Music: Sebastian Kauderer, Luke Richards
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English, Finnish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP