Of Sad Songs

Of Sad Songs

Of Sad Songs and Happy Finns

Documentary // ARTE 2007 | 26 min. | digibeta

"Tango is no dance, it's an emotional state"; that is the claim of dance instructor Ake Blomquist who, for decades, has been introducing the Finns to the secrets of the Finnish Tango.

Finland and Tango - strange though this combination seems, nowhere outside Argentina are the melancholic tunes of such an importance as here. The Finns are the second biggest Tango nation on Earth. They are composing their own Tango music, mostly in minor, and are writing their own flaming love oaths with Polar flair. It's not only the dance but especially the Tango song that moves the Nordic people.
Every summer one hundred thousand people come to the Tango festival in Seinäjoki, a small town 400km to the North of Helsinki. The spectator awaits a kind of Tango marathon and, an event of national importance, the annual election of the Tango queen and king.
The film accompanies the 33 year old music teacher, mother and singer from her hometown Klankkata to the Tango finals in Seinäjoki. For our viewer it's not only a glimpse of Finnish everyday life and of the world of a very special music, but also the experience of meeting Finns far from the stereotype. We meet a country beyond melancholy and dark days, filled with jolly people that succumb to their passion - the Finnish Tango.

Writer and Director: Antje Christ
Camera: Andreas Wunsch
Sound: Manuel Ernst
Editing: Jens Gronheid
Production: Antje Christ

Photos © Martti Haapamäki

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