Oh, the horror of Christmas.
|"Look son! |
There be hookers at the North Pole."
When a young boy named Pietari (Onni Tommili) discovers a secret archeological dig in the Korvatunturi Mountains of Finland, he fears the team may have discovered the ancient grave of Santa Clause. The Santa Clause in question isn't the popular Coca-Cola Santa inspired by Clement Clark Moore's 1832 poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas." In Rare Exports, the Helander brothers adapt the dark and mystical tales of European folklore, incorporating the more sinister side of Saint Nicolas.
There is an old world charm to the holiday setting of this film. The movie isn't saturated with an abundance of Christmas decorations, and the limited decor gives the holiday setting a simplistic approach, reinforcing the importance of the holiday as a result. This works well with the story, especially between Pietari and his father. These scenes have a lot of heart, as viewers are introduced to a man dealing with loss and struggling to raise his coming of age son without a mother. There is a nervous emphasis on Christmas tradition as a result. To maintain the value of family, and more important, normality.
|"Don't f--- with the man in red and white."|
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Rare Exports is a strange yet wonderful film. It's a fascinating tale with an equally original ending that only adds to the mysticism of the film. It’s a nice collaborative effort by all involved. Although the film's star is a child, it may not be appropriate for children who are still sending letters to the North Pole and leaving out cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.
-Lee L. Lind