Films: August

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August  {Elokuu}


Finland, 2011, 108 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Coming of Age, Drama, Romance, Teen
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Finnish English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Oskari Sipola
Producer: Jesse Fryckman
Editor: Antti Reikko
Screenwriter: Oskari Sipola
Cinematographer: Joonas Pulkkanen
Principal Cast: Eppu Pastinen, Lina Turkama, Niina Koponen, Zagros Manuchar

“I feel like everyone’s going somewhere,” laments Aku (Eppu Pastinen), the youthful protagonist of Finnish writer-director Oskari Sipola’s debut feature, August (Elokuu). “I’m being abandoned.” Resigned to a summer job working construction in his hometown of Helsinki, Aku awaits word of his university acceptance while his girlfriend Erika temporarily decamps to St. Petersburg.

Chance encounters with the bewitching Juli (Lina Turkama) change the trajectory of earnest Aku’s summer, and he quickly finds he is going somewhere—namely on a road trip of self-discovery. Accompanying his new companion through the countryside, he is forced to come to terms, in the midst of Juli’s capriciousness, with his own insecurities and the meaning of his privileged upbringing. Bonding over challenges ranging from the theft of their car to Juli’s sister’s infidelity, the two grow closer, but will it last through fall?

At 26, Sipola already shows prowess as a visual storyteller, powerfully capturing the restlessness, uncertainty, and passion that mark the rocky passage to adulthood—be it through the golden-hued, soft-focus images of Aku’s graduation ceremony or the rapid-fire, pulsating scenes in a dance club.

(Unsubtitled trailer)

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