Reetta  Huhtanen

Reetta Huhtanen

Finland

Three years ago I started to hear interesting stories of my sister’s son Aatos and their daily family life in Molenbeek, Brussels, 'a neighborhood where majority of the residents have Muslim background. While the world was building juxtapositions Aatos in turn had become intensly interested on surrounding Muslim society, the way religion was seen and heard in daily life, especially in his best friend Amine’s life. Aatos had endless questions about gods and he wanted to find his own God. In Aatos’s reflections on God, and as he plays and talks with his friends, the realities and ideological questions become condensed. I wanted to show from the children’s perspective: how they reflect adults beliefs and how they build their own view on the world. Adults are in the background. In my protagonist I was mostly interested in his open-mindedness which shows that it is quite possible to live in cultural interfaces without black-and-white divisions. While playing, these children might argue about fundamental subjects related to worldviews, yet they don't judge but rather learn from each other. While we were filming the Brussels terrorist attack took place and it naturally broadened the subject of the film. For me, the attack itself was not in the core of my interest but instead how it reflected in children’s world, their play and thoughts.    

Biography

Reetta Huhtanen is a filmmaker based in Helsinki. She graduated with a master of arts from the ELO Film School Finland at Aalto University, majoring in documentary film directing. Beside her study of film, she graduated with a BA in sociology and philosophy. Currently, alongside filmmaking, she is a doctoral student at Aalto University. As a documentarist she is described to have “an ability to see the absurd in recent phenomenon through her twisted vision. In social topics she collides serious with playful”.

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