Concrete Night | Chicago Reader

Concrete Night

In a dire Helsinki slum, a 14-year-old boy from a dystunctional family spends a night cavorting with his hot-headed older brother, who's headed for jail the next day. Shooting in black-and-white, cinematographer Peter Flinckenberg conjures up a stark chiaroscuro that amplifies the sense of desolation, but the images are poetic and stirring rather than debilitating; the dramatic lighting gives the rundown buildings and abandoned construction sites an otherworldly look. Director Pirjo Honkasalo uses reflective surfaces—mirrors, windows, water—to suggest alternate realities where her characters might lead less corrupted lives. In Finnish with subtitles.

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