RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE Sunday 18 December, 2011

The outright winner of ‘The Most Unusual Christmas Film’ title.

Finnish. Funnish. Mad as the hatter. This is a christmas film unlike any other. It’s like a cross between Die Hard and Troll Hunter. It only gets the Die Hard comparison because it’s set at christmas though.

A mysterious company are digging at the top of a mountain? What are they digging for? Who are they? These are the questions that are plaguing the mind of young Pietari Kontio (charmingly played by Onni Tommila). I’m going to stay away rom any more plot because there’s not a great deal there to start with so if I give anything away you needn’t watch it.

It’s competently directed by Jamari Helander although it does feel a little like Jean-Pierre Jeunet without the magic. The landscape is all quite beautiful but largely snow and mountains.

There are no women in this film which is a little strange. From memory there only two mentions of any women. I’m not sure why that is. The cast are all rugged men living on the edge of civilisation earning their livelihood by hunting reindeer. One of them (Tommi Korpela) looks like J├╝rgen Prochnow if he had been created by Osamu Tezuka which is essentially Karel Roden (Rasputin in Hellboy).

It’s never really that gruesome although it’s definitely not one for the little’uns. It’s also not a film that’s really designed to put you in the christmas mood. There are moments that are quite amusing but I suspect a lot of the real humour is lost in the translation.

Worth watching just for a break from the syrupy mess that most christmas films are smothered in. It’s a completely different take on christmas and there’s also a few doses of old-man cock, if that’s your thing.



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