Filmmaker Pirjo Honkasalo

    • set 8 items

    Pirjo Honkasalo (1947, Helsinki, Finland) is known for her uncompromising aesthetics and poetic imagery, which she uses to highlight social themes.

    Honkasalo is not only a director but also a camera woman, editor, producer, screenwriter and actress. In her films she frequently crosses the boundary between fiction and documentary - one of the topics covered during her masterclass in 2010, when she presented her Top 10 as guest of honor of IDFA and a retrospective was dedicated to her work. After studying cinematography at the art academy in Helsinki, she did a postgraduate course at Temple University in Philadelphia. The first film of hers that was shown at IDFA, Atman (1997), won the Joris Ivens Award. This film is, along with Mysterion (1991) and Tanjuska and the 7 Devils (1993), part of her 'trilogy of the sacred and the satanic'. In the masterpiece The 3 Rooms of Melancholia (chosen in 2007 as one of the audience favorites of IDFA's first twenty years) Honkasalo follows Russian and Chechen children who try to survive in wartime. In 2014 she participated in the theme program The Female Gaze at IDFA, about a 'female look' in documentaries and in 2017 in the Camera in Focus program.

    Watch online:

    The 3 Rooms of Melancholia

    Items in this selection

    Swastika

    • Pirjo Honkasalo
    • 1967

    Pirjo Honkasalo's bizarre and comical account of a group of Finnish neo-Nazis who marched along the country lanes of Finland, intent on establishing the Thousand Year Empire.

    Mysterion

    • Pirjo Honkasalo
    • 1991

    The first part of a trilogy about the meaning of spirituality in a changing world, Mysterion takes place in a Russian Orthodox convent in Estonia.

    Tanjuska and the 7 Devils

    • Pirjo Honkasalo
    • 1993

    When 10-year-old Tanjuska stops eating and talking, an Estonian exorcist believes that she is possessed.

    The Cinderella of Tallinn

    • Pirjo Honkasalo
    • 1996

    A ruthless businesswoman talks just as easily about her corporate success as she does about her spiritual attitude toward life.

    Atman

    • Pirjo Honkasalo
    • 1996

    The pilgrimage of two Indian brothers to the source of the Ganges serves as a powerful portrait of religious India.

    Fire-Eater

    • Pirjo Honkasalo
    • 1998

    A powerful drama by Pirjo Honkasalo about two sisters and their mother struggling to survive in post-war Europe.

    The 3 Rooms of Melancholia

    • Pirjo Honkasalo
    • 2004

    Shot in St. Petersburg, Grozny and Ingushetia, this multilayered, poetic film deals with basic human feelings, fear, loneliness, war, life's dilemmas and misery.

    Ito - Diary of an Urban Priest

    • Pirjo Honkasalo
    • 2008

    With Ito, Diary of an Urban Priest, Pirjo Honkasalo (The 3 Rooms of Melancholia has made an incisive portrait of a promising boxer in Tokyo who decides to become a Buddhist priest.