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PRODUCTION Finland

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Karukoski’s butterflies take wing with FFF support

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The Finnish Film Foundation has just granted €500,000 in production support to The Home of the Dark Butterflies, the second feature film by the director of the award-winning Beauty and the Bastard [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Dome Karukoski.

Adapted for the screen by Marko Leino from Leena Lander’s eponymous best-selling novel, the film focuses on Juhani, a teenager haunted and oppressed by a traumatic childhood experience. After being bounced between foster homes and temporary families for six years, he ends up in a institution for boys, The Island.

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The place is run under the laws and regulations of the superintendent, Olavi Harjula, who is ruthless in administrating them. Besides the seven boys and Harjula, the only other inhabitants of the Island are the superintendent’s wife and their two daughters, along with Tyyne, who is in charge of the livestock and the catering. The isolated community is a world of its own.

According to the production notes, the film “forces the spectators to ask themselves: How long do you have to keep paying for past mistakes and deeds? When can you forgive yourself and set free? Or can you at all?”

Recently interviewed by Cineuropa. Karukoski also stressed that “although the lead character is a teenager, The Home of the Dark Butterflies will have a very dark tone and will be aiming at an adult audience".

One of the lead roles belongs to Tommi Korpela, currently drawing Finnish audiences into local cinemas with his striking performance in Aleksi Salmenperä’s A Man’s Job [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(the only local film in Finnish Top 10 last weekend). The cast also features Aki Kaurismäki’s favourite actress, Kati Outinen.

The film is produced by Markus Selin and Jukka Helle for Solar Films, with co-financing from MTV3.

The first part of the shoot took place the last week of February and the second part will start on July 3 and last until August 24. The Finnish release is set for January 11, 2008.

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