Consolation Service

  • 25'
  • Finland
  • 1999
A Finnish couple announce their decision to divorce. It is early spring in Helsinki. Narrated in a voice-over by a neighbour, the work presents three dramatic moments in this process: It begins with a session with their therapist, followed by the couple celebrating a birthday with their friends that ends with the whole group drowning in a frozen lake. The camera angle and perspective change to parallel the shift of the narrative. An underwater monologue contemplates the past and death. The film concludes in a final relinquishing of the relationship. The narrative combines documentary realism and cinematic invention and is fragmented, thus inviting us to see beyond the illusion of fiction.

Director
Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Country of production
Finland
Production Year
1999
Festival Edition
IFFR 2001
Length
25'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Lohdutusseremonia
Language
Finnish
Producers
Crystal Eye Ltd, Ilppo Pohjola
Sales
Crystal Eye Ltd
Screenplay
Eija-Liisa Ahtila