Films: Princess

Purchase Online

  • Friday, November 04, 6:45 PM
    Starz FilmCenter

    ATTENTION

    That showtime has passed. Please try next available showtime.

  • Saturday, November 05, 12:15 PM
    Starz FilmCenter

    ATTENTION

    That showtime has passed. Please try next available showtime.

Princess  {Prinsessa}

Princess
Prinsessa

Finland, 2010, 100 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Historical/Period, Medical/Health, Psychological
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Finnish English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Arto Halonen
Producer: Arto Halonen
Editor: Tuuli Kuittinen
Screenwriter: Pirjo Toikka, Arto Halonen, Paavo Westerberg
Cinematographer: Hannu Vitikainen
Principal Cast: Katja Kukkola, Samuli Edelmann, Krista Kosonen, Peter Franzen, Prikka-Pekka Petelius, Antti Litja

The intermittently charming and undeniably psychotic protagonist of the esteemed Finnish documentarian Arto Halonen's first narrative feature is a former cabaret dancer and professional masseuse named Anna Lappalainen (the versatile and impressive Katja Kukkola, who won a Jussi—Finland’s Oscar—for her performance). In June, 1945—a crucial and confused moment in the history of psychiatry—she is admitted to the Kellokoski Mental Hospital, caught in a tangle of delusions. Anna, who calls herself Princess, believes she a displaced royal born at Buckingham Palace and, in one version of things, dropped into the skies over Finland by a magical eagle. Her assorted relatives include the former crowned heads of Czarist Russia, Imperial Germany, and almost any other nation she can think of.

Based on a true story, Halonen's madhouse drama tells the tale of not only Anna's eventually redemptive struggle with insanity but also the pitched postwar battle that was fought in the mental-health establishment itself. Kellokoski was the first Finnish hospital to burn its straitjackets, we learn—but controversial prefrontal lobotomies, early electroshock treatment (both depicted in scary detail), and psychotropic drug therapies followed over the years as doctors debated, sometimes recklessly, what path to take with their patients.

In the end, Anna emerges from her illness as an acknowledged heroine of psychotherapy (in 1995, Kellokoski erected a monument to her), but the journey was arduous. Halonen’s recounting thereof, however, is, anything but, enhanced by outstanding supporting performances by Krista Kosonen as a fellow patient who imagines herself a baroness and Samuli Edelmann as the asylum's chief physician, Dr. Gotenfelt.
—BILL GALLO

In cooperation with NAMI Colorado

You might also enjoy...

  • Joanna

    Joanna

    Poland , 2010 , 105 min. The eponymous heroine of Feliks Falk's World War II drama, set in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, is a bright and wary young Pole (Urszula Grabowska) whose quest for simple survival is turned inside out when she discovers a seven-year-old Jewish girl hiding in a church—and decides to harbor the child.... more
  • Oxygen

    Oxygen

    Belgium , 2010 , 98 min. In this observant, intimate Belgian drama, a group of young cystic fibrosis patients explore life on borrowed time. This could be relentlessly grim subject matter—but thanks to director Hans Van Nuffel, writer Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem, and a spirited cast, Oxygen has buoyancy... more
  • Sonny Boy

    Sonny Boy

    Netherlands , 2010 , 132 min. Director Maria Peters dramatizes the impossible-but-true story of a middle-class Dutch wife and mother and a black Surinamese immigrant who fall in love, have a child, and navigate the terrors of Nazi-occupied Holland—all the while harboring Jews in their attic.... more
  • William Kurelek's The Maze

    William Kurelek's The Maze

    USA , 2011 , 64 min. The half-hour documentary Robert M. Young made in 1970 about the famously disturbed Canadian painter William Kurelek has been expanded to full length—a fitting tribute to the tormented schizophrenic who claimed he saved himself by converting to Roman Catholicism.... more
  • Young Goethe in Love

    Young Goethe in Love

    Germany , 2010 , 100 min. “It’s more than truth. It’s poetry,” explains the romantic heroine of The Sorrows of Young Werther. The same can be said of Philipp Stölzl’s Young Goethe in Love, a sumptuous period romance about the early experiences that led Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to write the epistolary novel... more
S M T W T F S
      2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14          

Browse Films