International Biennial of Contemporary Art Ljubljana,
23 June - 24 September 2000
News Archive
Micro Talks
Cankarjev Dom
M1 & M2
Veli Granö
  *1960, lives in Helsinki

A Strange Message from Another Star, video film, 30 min

The film A Strange Message from Another Star tells the story of the 69-year-old Finnish-American Paavo Rahkonen. His life-long desire has been to leave the Earth and settle down on another planet. "If I only could find another planet in space where human beings could live in peace, I'd go there ...We went into the dark sky. I could see my house down there, and all around me, the Milky Way. It was so wonderful, I can't find the words to describe it. I felt so peaceful inside. It just ... overwhelmed me." Paavo's utopian dream has its roots in the dreams of the early years of space research in the 1940s, as well as in the moral need to find an alternative to the distorted and destructive behaviour of humankind. Decades of independent research culminated in the development of space shuttle fuel for NASA. The rockets he designed flew into space, but the dreamer remained on Earth. The fantastic theme of the film is based on sore personal realism and is connected with the history of the Civil War in Finland in 1918 and the Second World War. The way his father was traumatised by the wars shadows the strange dream world of the film and is its binding theme. A Strange Message from Another Star is about the outcome of an extreme dedication, as well as the moment of facing reality. After 60 years, the secret doors of the universe suddenly open wide.

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