Trench Road

Director: Veikko Aaltonen

Finland| 2004. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 111 min.

A man’s bizarre meltdown after his family abandons him is the subject of Finnish director Veikko Aaltonen’s fine adaptation of the award-winning novel by Kari Hotakainen. Matti is a family man who’s content to prove his manhood by changing nappies and cooking. But his wife is bored and leaves with the couple’s young daughter after an altercation in which Matti’s uses violence for the first time. Miserable and guilt-ridden, Matti begins obsessing over the acquisition of an old house—one built for returning soldiers after World War II—as the missing factor that will magically bring his family back together. He also commences rigorous physical training in planning to intimidate, military-style, the owners of house he covets. Generation-gap resentment by younger Finnish men (who’ve never served in a war) toward their ‘Greatest Generation’ forebears, and all related issues of macho insecurity, constitute a central theme in the film.

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