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Steven Soderbergh's The Informant! will open the 22nd Helsinki International Film Festival

Steven Soderbergh's dark, comic drama The Informant! opens the 22nd Helsinki International Film Festival ? Love & Anarchy. The L&A Gala Film selection is the original version of John Woo?s historical spectacle, Red Cliff I-II. This is the first time the original version of almost five hours will be screened in Europe. The Festival closes with the awaited new film by Jane Campion, Bright Star.

Steven Soderbergh's The Informant! is a dark, comic drama on the chaotic, corrupt corn business as practiced by the mustached, potbellied Matt Damon. L&A will also present the more experimental side of Soderbergh's film making, The Girlfriend Experience.

 

The Love & Anarchy Gala Film is John Woo's historical spectacle Red Cliff I-II. The festival is proud to present the original uncut version, which runs for almost five hours. The battle of Red Cliff was a major turning point in Chinese history that has been a source of inspiration for countless novels, poems and video games ? in addition to John Woo?s epic vision. In the western countries this movie has only been presented in an extensively cut, approximately two hour version, until now.

 

This year's Finnish Film Gala selection is Saara Saarela?s Twisted Roots. L&A will also premiere many other new Finnish films including the new documentary by Arto Halonen. Magnetic Man is a portrait of the late singer-songwriter, Pekka Streng. Markku Heikkinen explores the gay porn industry in his new documentary All boys. The highpoint of new Finnish films is the artistic split screen vision by Eija-Liisa Ahtila.

 

Festival?s extensive selection of Russian films includes both popular Russian mainstream selections and highly original independent films. 

The series includes Aleksei Balabanov?s addiction story Morphia, works by women directors such as Everybody Dies But Me and The Mermaid, as well as the film about neo-nazism, Russia 88.

 

Current political themes are explored in the Issues series. Food Inc. 

is a documentary about intensive agriculture and The Cove resists the killing of dolphins. There is plenty of politics also in the series of African films, which are a mixture of long tradition (Teza) and the actual, often political themes (child soldiers of Johnny Mad Dog).

 

For the second time L&A will award a Finnkino Prize, a national distribution contract, for one of the eight nominees. 2008 winner of the audience award was the Jordanian film Captain Abu Raed (dir. Amin Matalga). The high quality and award-winning nominees from all around the world, have been selected by the L&A Ministry.

 

The Festival closes with Jane Campion?s long awaited new film Bright Star, which was screened on the Selection Officiélle of this year?s Cannes Film Festival. The film tells the tragic story of the poet John Keats and is inspired by the book Keats by Andrew Motion. The compelling drama is Jane Campion?s strong return to ambitious film making.

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