制片人：玛利亚·皮赫拉亚 泰约·埃洛兰塔 阿列克西·霍尔科
Director: Mikko Mäkelä
Screenwriter: Mikko Mäkelä
Cast: Otto Rokka, Teijo Eloranta, Aleksi Holkko
Producer: Marja Pihlaja
Cinematographer: Iikka Salminen
Genre: Fiction short film
Production Company: Tekele Production
On furlough from his military service, Niko pays his estranged father a visit. Can old wounds heal?
导演介绍 Director Biography
米科·梅凯拉是居住在伦敦的芬兰裔英国作家、导演，被IndieWire评为2019年25位崛起的LGBTQ电影人之一。他的导演处女作《芦苇荡的时光》（2017）在全球80多个电影节上放映，并提名英国独立电影奖的发现奖，以及两次芬兰尤西奖（最佳男主角和最佳男配角）。米科是柏林国际电影节天才营（Berlinale Talents）、英国独立电影奖跳板营（BIFA Springboard）的成员以及英国电影协会网络X英国电影学院奖成员(BFI Network X BAFTA Crew)的校友。在首次拍摄电影之前，他曾执导过一些音乐和时尚宣传片，并在电视剧和广告中担任编辑。在他的电影中，米科最感兴趣的是表现酷儿经历、更广泛地探索身份问题，并常常借助边缘化的人物和在社会中格格不入的个体来集中表现。目前，他正在与英国电影协会合作，制作他在英国的第二部电影。
Mikko Mäkelä is a Finnish-British writer/director based in London, named by IndieWire as one of 25 LGBTQ Filmmakers on the Rise in 2019. His feature directorial debut A Moment in the Reeds (2017) screened at over 80 festivals worldwide and was nominated for The Discovery Award at the British Independent Film Awards as well as two Finnish Jussi Awards (Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor). Mikko is an alumnus of Berlinale Talents, BIFA Springboard as well as BFI Network X BAFTA Crew. Prior to his feature debut, he directed a number of music and fashion promos alongside working as an editor in drama and commercials. In his films, Mikko is most interested in representing the queer experience and more broadly exploring questions of identity, often focalised through marginalised characters and individuals at odds with society. He is currently developing his UK-based sophomore feature with the BFI.
导演阐述 Director Statement
It’s difficult to overstate the significance of military service for the national identity of Finland. In addition to its primary purpose of defence, the central role played by the armed forces in Finnish society is evident in the saying – that we all grow up hearing – that military service “moulds boys into men” – as if only through completing this rite of passage can a male-bodied Finn become a full-blown citizen.
Homosexuality has remained taboo in the Finnish armed forces until very recently, and it is the fear of homophobia that has historically prevented so many queer men from entering the service – as was the case for myself. Given its outsize importance in Finnish society, and the negative psychological impact of its firm linkage to traditional notions of masculinity, I therefore felt compelled to finally examine this institution from a heretofore unseen queer perspective in Service.
The short drama tells the story of an estranged father and his adult son’s reunion after the latter has finally entered the military to complete his service, following years of deferment. In the course of their meeting, we understand that, growing up, Niko has been a disappointment to his father by diverging from a traditional heteronormative idea of masculinity. In the film I wanted to examine this wedge driven between father and son, through the latter’s failure to conform to the former’s expectations – and this particularly from a queer perspective, when those expectations have to do with gender roles and expression. Viewing (the fulfilment of) military service as a measure of “manhood” allowed me also to examine performativity of gender within the father-son relationship: it’s only once dressed in the military uniform that Niko can be recognized as “a real man” by his father. With the end twist, I also want the audience to reflect on the superficial and potentially illusory nature of gender performance, as well as to interrogate the linkage of military service and masculinity in (Finnish) culture. Through Niko’s “deceit”, the film also seeks to reflect on the necessity and ethics of a so-called white lie in helping to bridge the gap between generations. Are Niko’s actions unethical if they have the power to make his father happy and allow father and son to become close again? Can his actions be thought of as wrong if only through them Niko is able to feel his father’s acceptance and love, even superficially? The film can be seen as a story of a child who, out of love for their parent (and in need of parental love), is ultimately seemingly prepared to compromise their identity and ideology – how, in order to maintain familial relations, the child is prepared to “speak their language”. At its foundation, the (borrowed) uniform is simply a concrete example of all the figurative masks that we are forced to wear in different arenas of our lives, and the various roles we at times have to take on to maintain our relationships.