Wed­nes­day, May 5 MA­CHOS

NOW Magazine - Hot Docs - - Hot docs Reviews - NNNN

(Mike Ronkainen, Fin­land/Ger­many). 86 min­utes. Subti­tled. Rat­ing: “What’s go­ing on here is that Matti is be­ing punched rather heav­ily in the head.” This qui­etly mor­dant record of a sea­son in the life of an in­ept Oulu rugby team plays like a study of mas­culin­ity in minia­ture, wherein an as­sort­ment of sub­ur­ban hus­bands and boyfriends save all their testos­terone for the pitch – where they then pro­ceed to spray it ev­ery which way.

Direc­tor Mike Ronkainen looks be­hind the stereo­types of hen­pecked hus­band, self- de­clared iconoclast and clos­eted ho­mo­phobe to find the mo­ments of hon­esty that de­fine th­ese 21stcen­tury men – even if they’re to­tally crap at sports. can­did ac­cess, re­sult­ing in hu­mour (Mon­ica’s neat freak ten­den­cies are charm­ing), heart­break and tiny vic­to­ries. Mon­ica’s mother, who like David’s mom raised her child alone, emerges as a re­mark­able fig­ure whose com­po­sure crum­bles just once.

One of the most hu­mane and emo­tion­ally rich films you’ll see this year. Digna Sinke’s placid ge­o­graph­i­cal study of­fers an in­trigu­ing, mov­ing med­i­ta­tion on tran­sience.

Sinke brought her cam­era to the small Dan­ish is­land of Tiengeme­ten over the span of 14 years, record­ing a gov­ern­ment project to re­claim the lo­cal farms and turn the land back into a nat­u­ral wilder­ness. The footage is am­pli­fied by read­ings from her jour­nal, crisply chart­ing the up­heavals in her own life – aging par­ents, part­ner’s ill­ness. By the end of the movie, it’s not just the land­scape that’s un­rec­og­niz­able.

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