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Gevangenen van de grond - Prisoners of the Ground

Documentary, 2009, 88 min.

Winters in Finland are long and dark. Months in which the population dreams of another, sunnier place that they will probably never reach. Countless Finns find the answer to this fantasy in the Finnish tango. To their heart's content, these introverted, melancholy people dance to the sounds of the tango with its languorous lyrics. They sing, too, in karaoke-style settings, in disconsolate bars with modular ceilings. Van Voorst van Beest follows Finnish music lovers during several social evenings where they sing and dance. We meet a designer of tango dresses, the owner of a dance hall, but also visitors of tango venues who talk about their lives and the Finnish tango tradition. Images of Finland in various grey tones create the suspicion of a plain, at times even despondent life, in which people live their dreams with passion. A revealing text is the lyric by composer Unto Mononen, who died at an early age, expressing the hope to fly to a warm country with flowers. 'But a bird without wings is a prisoner of the ground.'

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