An emphatic portrait of adolescence in contemporary Finland, Stupid Young Heart is set in the Helsinki suburb where its screenwriter Kirsikka Saari grew up. “I live nearby, so instead of doing research we were able to draw on life experiences. The screenwriter also read a lot on the internet about racist, extreme right groups, as well as meeting a lot of people from the Somali community, social workers working with neighbouring communities in conflict and young people from Helsinki,” director Selma Vilhunen said at Febiofest.
Vilhunen says that the racism depicted in the film began in the 1990s, when refugees from Somalia arrived in the country, and escalated in recent years. “Unlike Norway and Sweden, Finland took in only a handful of immigrants. However, the mood in society changed when a right-wing extremist party got into the parliament in 2011. Suddenly racist language became more common. For me what’s happening today is terrifying. I try to be an optimist, but I’m afraid we’re going to see some violence before things get better,” said the director, whose film you will find in the Generations section.