Before his elder brother goes to prison, 14-year-old Simo roams with him for one more ill-fated night through the remote corners of Helsinki. He is just as vulnerable as the Russian cadets and Czech children from the masterful documentary The 3 Rooms of Melancholia (2004) by the same director.
In Concrete Night, based on the novel by Pirkko Saisio, Honkasalo (who's been making films since 1967) takes us to the claustrophobic world of concrete tenements where Simo's erratic mother is holed up in her apartment. The boy is still uninhibited enough to look up expectantly at the clouds, but he is just as easily impressed by his brother's cynical lessons of life: you’re allowed to beat women and you’re better off without hope.
Photographed in stylised black-and-white with expressionist use of light and dark, this is an odyssey with symbolic undertones, embroidering on the nightmares from which Simo awakens. A requiem for the loss of childhood.


Original title
Betoniyö
Filmmaker
Pirjo Honkasalo
Country
Finland, Sweden
Year
2013
Medium
DCP
Length
96’
Language
Finnish
Producer
Mark Lwoff
Production Company
Bufo Film Production Company
Sales
Film Republic
Writer
Pirjo Honkasalo, Pirkko Saisio, based on her novel Betoniyö
Cinematography
Peter Flinckenberg
Editor
Niels Pagh Andersen
Production Design
Pentti Valkeasuo
Sound Design
Jan Alvermark
Music
Karl Frid, Pär Frid
Cast
Johannes Brotherus, Jari Virman