Past and present meet in an epic road movie through Central Asia to Japan. Adventure and intrigues, life and death, the downfall of nations - as told by a dead Finn. At the beginning of the 20th century, when there were still empty spots on the world map, the Finnish philologist G.J. Ramstedt travelled through Central Asia to Japan. Like a true adventurer, he wrote a diary in the pompous style that we hear on the soundtrack, while the contrast to today's landscapes and, especially, cities is highlighted in the film's imagery shot during the two Finnish filmmakers' journey in his footsteps. EASTERN MEMORIES is both an essay film and a magnificent travel film, which spans over ten thousand kilometres and has a hundred years of historical experiences in its luggage. The duo Niklas Kullström and Martti Kaartinen have created a breathtaking film with an edge of bone-dry Finnish humour– told, as it is, by a dead Finn from the cold North on the fringes of the Mongolian steppes. The landscapes become the canvas on which fantasy and expectation can paint their dreams of greatness and adventure.
- Martti Kaartinen
- Niklas Kullström
- Niklas Kullström
- Rasmus Hedlund
- HILLSTREAM PICTURES
Niklas Kullström is a Finnish filmmaker, cinematographer, editor and media artist. He was born in Helsinki, Finland, but has lived extensively abroad, in Japan, Iceland, United Kingdom, Latvia and Russia. The short documentary film, SAY HELLO IN SLOVIO, which he made in the Balkans with British director May Abdalla, has been screened at Cannes Film Festival and was awarded at the Helsinki Short Film Festival. As a media and photo artist Kullström has concentrated on the aesthetic and social challenges created by digitalisation and technologization. His works have been internationally displayed at several different venues, most notably at the Hamburg Photography Triennial in 2015. In addition to art, Kullström also works as a producer, photographer and teacher. In 2016 he produced, edited and filmed the comedic-short THE DIJON-STORY, directed by Mikko Myllylahti. He has also had a long standing collaboration with Serbian Director/Producer Boris Mitić, on his documentary feature IN PRAISE OF NOTHING, which premiere at Locarno in 2017. EASTERN MEMORIES is Kullström’s debut film as a director.
Martti Kaartinen is a Finnish filmmaker and scriptwriter. He has acted as a lead in short films, which have been shown at major festivals and broadcasted on tv. Background research for the documentary EASTERN MEMORIES took Kaartinen for a month to Tokyo, for six months to Mongolia and for several weeks to China, travelling and living alone with the local people. He is currently involved in several different film projects as a director, writer and an actor. As a journalist Kaartinen has written articles ranging from social to cultural issues, and done photo reports for various publications. EASTERN MEMORIES is Kaartinen’s debut film as a director.