Welcome to our 2015 Festival Staff Picks column! We’ll be posting some first looks at Festival Films to look out for on the 2015 Film Schedule. Check back to the AFF blog for new Staff Picks each week!
Family is a strange concept. You’re born to a pair of parents, you maybe have some siblings and then there are some more distant relatives like uncles and cousins and in-laws… all of whom you’re supposed to love. But what if you don’t?
Headfirst takes a darkly hilarious look at these forced familial relationships and skewers them on the kabob of dysfunction to form a deliciously enjoyable treat. The film follows a mother as she tries to protect her rebellious daughter, Takku, from state custody with the help of a strained alliance of shady characters: a drug-dealing teacher and an alcoholic older man, who just might be Takku’s grandfather.
Headfirst dissects the absurdity of teen angst with the compassion of a concerned parent, but it has by no means a warm and fuzzy atmosphere; in fact the film’s cold color palette indicate the opposite. Takku and her mother are defined by their loss and want. They’re poor, neither of them knew their fathers and they never seem to be in control. If this film didn’t have such strong comedy elements, it might have been too hard to watch.
This film is Finnish, dark, funny, touching and incredibly well-crafted. If you’re looking to jump into the deep end of familial turmoil but not without the life preserver of irreverent comedy, Headfirst was made just for you.
– Jake Palmer, Film Department Intern
Want to add Headfirst to your schedule? Click here to add it on Sched.