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Tavarataivas/My Stuff


Stars: Petri Luukkainen

Director: Petri Luukkainen

Described as “a one-year human experiment in ‘creative’ living’ this seriously strange documentary follows Petri Luukkainen (who also directs) when, upset by a recent break-up and suffering from over-expenditure on his credit cards, he decides to lock away all his possessions and allow himself to retrieve only one thing every day. Which he does for a year, after first proving his ability to survive in the bleakest conditions by running through the snow covered streets of Helsinki at night wearing nothing but a newspaper to cover his modesty…

The “Look at me!” ‘Supersize Me’-style story of a filmed pilgrim’s progress is nothing if not unusual, although some of the sequences aroused my suspicions that perhaps parts of the documentary might have been pre-planned.

Says Luukkainen: “I was 26 and lost. I felt empty in my apartment full of stuff … too much stuff, stuff and stuff. Too much of everything and still lacking something to find out what I really need… I felt it would be a life-changing journey – so why not film it?” and adds, “The tear was full of surprises. And I’m happy to tell you it also turned out to be a love story”.

If you accept Luukkainen as auteur, it’s hard not to feel his story is essentially one of self love, beautifully photographed and ‘played’ by its star with a sly sense of humour. Fascinating, especially in its portrait of Helsinki, but hardly a must-see.

Alan Frank

Finland 2013. UK Distributor: Day for Night. Colour.
83 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 28 Mar 2014