Tanjuska and the 7 Devils
When at the end of the summer vacation 10-year old Tanjuska from Belarus suddenly stops eating and talking, her parents are at their wits' end. Both the village healers' medicinal water and the insulin treatment in a psychiatric hospital fail to bring any improvement. Then Tanjuska's parents meet Father Vasili, an exorcist from Estonia who believes that the girl is possessed by seven devils that can only be expelled by God. As Tanjuska – now a 12-year-old with stunted growth – sits through the priest's interminable masses, the film ponders what exactly is wrong with her. Pirjo Honkasalo’s camera is a close observer, tacitly adding perspective to a situation where convictions seem to be much in the way of quiet observation. In this second installment of her “Trilogy of the Sacred and the Satanic” (encompassing also Mysterion and Atman), Finnish filmmaker Pirjo Honkasalo succeeds in subtly contrasting Tanjuska's father's blind faith in Father Vasili's therapy with her mother's cautiously expressed doubts.
Pirjo Honkasalo for Baabeli Ky
Mart Kessel-Otsa, Martti Turunen