Archive of films The Temptation of St Tony / Püha Tõnu kiusamine
Estonia / Sweden / Finland
2009, 114 min
Section: East of the West - Competition
Tony is returning from the stale and desperate Estonian village where he buried his father to his placidly affluent manager’s life in Tallinn when chance sends him on a surreal, symbolic journey that examines (and calls into question) his notions of good and even of himself.
"Midway upon the journey of our life / I found myself within a forest dark, / For the straightforward pathway had been lost.” This citation from Dante’s Inferno accurately introduces the plight of the film’s protagonist Tony, a manager in a midlife crisis whose existence in the midst of the materialistically exhausted, decadent world of modern-day Estonian capitalism begins bit by bit to fall apart. In the beginning there was a dog, accidentally run over on the way from his father’s funeral, and a flight into a forest where Tony wanted to hide him. The dozens of severed hands he finds there are just the beginning of his journey to the roots of his own morality, the beginning of a fantastic, hallucinogenic odyssey in which wretched Tony gradually draws away from the people and relationships in his life and plunges ever deeper into a (sur)reality of symbols and allegory. The director’s visually fascinating black-and-white meditation on the real nature of good is as intellectually stimulating as it is playfully cheerful, and the hell it leads to is inescapable.
About the director
Veiko Õunpuu (b. 1972, Saaremaal, Estonia) studied business management at the Estonian Business School, literary theory and semiotics at the University of Tallinn, and painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts. In 2006 he shot the medium-length film Empty (Tühirand), a concise portrait of a love triangle warmly received at numerous festivals including Stockholm and Seoul. His feature debut Autumn Ball (2007), an ironic mosaic investigating a few inhabitants of an inhospitable, post-socialist housing development, took the Venice Horizons Award at the Venice IFF and other awards at festivals in Bratislava, Marrakesh and Thessaloniki. Both movies screened at Karlovy Vary.
About the film
Black & white, 35 mm
|Section:||East of the West - Competition|
|Dir. of Photography:||Mart Taniel|
|Editor:||Thomas Lagerman, Veiko Õunpuu|
|Production:||Homeless Bob Production|
|Cast:||Taavi Eelmaa, Ravshana Kurkova, Tiina Tauraite, Sten Ljunggren, Denis Lavant|
|Contact:||Homeless Bob Production, LevelK|