Toute la Mémoire du Monde

"For the cinema to have a future, its past cannot be allowed to die," said Eric Rohmer, the French master director. Since the start of the Tampere Film Festival in 1970, this statement has been the guideline in forming the festival film repertoire.

Every year, we show current international short films in the competition series, but in other series too. Also, it has always been very important that we take a look at the history of films. We have tried to take a peek into the future as well.

Tampere Film Festival, on its part, has worked to educate people about film culture, as have Finnish film clubs for 50 years, the Finnish Film Archive for over 45 years, and provincial film centers for more than 30 years.

As an art form, films are young, just starting their second century. During their short existence, films have tried to find the same things as other art forms: everyday living, high points of life, and an understanding of life.

Toute la Mémoire du Monde (All of the World's Memory) is the name of a short film made in the 1950's by the French Alain Resnais. Peter von Bagh, a famous Finnish film critic, named his dissertation Mirror that Had a Memory. The past tense von Bagh used is an acute description of the present status of our film culture.

The following three short documentaries about collective memory and the memory of humanity are such that every generation should see them. Night and Fog by Alain Resnais (1956), perhaps the most powerful short documentary in film history, Excerpts from J.S. Bach's Saint Matthew Passion by Hungarian Tamás Czigany (1965), and Pictures of the Finnish Civil War 1918 by Finnish Seppo Rustanius (1989) are all masterpieces about the cruelty of man. In them, humanity is crucified. This would be a Tampere Film Festival show guaranteed to leave no one cold.

2004 is a jubilee year of Finnish film. It will be Finnish film's 100th anniversary. In one way or another, this will definitely be seen and heard at the Tampere Film Festival in March 2004.

Text:   Raimo Silius
Translation:   Paula Keltto