2 June 2015 | ouijax
Excellent audiovisual documentary
The late Finnish film historian and director Peter von Bagh made for us a love letter for the city of Helsinki, presented with often rare or unseen documentary footage, as well as film clips from nationally famous films, interspersed with stills, paintings, poems, songs, etc.
This documentary belongs to the top class of "old-school" documentaries "the way they don't make them anymore", crafted with time and care, filled with insightful commentaries spoken by a set of narrators, and driven by a leisurely pace. This is a far cry from what passes for documentaries these days. In Helsinki, ikuisesti you won't find re-enacted scenes, bombastic background music, a super- simplified sense history bent on the scandalous, or an attitude of both dumbing down of and looking down on the audience. Instead, it hooks you gently right at the start and doesn't let go. The amount of research that has gone into making this film must have been massive. It's impressive and captivating.
I don't know how much the subject matter would interest a casual viewer, especially a non-Finn. But at least for Finns and people interested in Helsinki and Finland it manages to encapsulate a whole century, told with a deep understanding of culture, the people who contributed to it and the time and place in which they lived.