"To know yourself, you must know your past." Aboard a train from Moscow to the archaeological dig site in Murmansk on the northern lip of the Arctic Circle, Laura (Seidi Haarla) finds herself forced to share close quarters with a Russian miner (Yuriy Borisov). The sleeper carriage is cramped, and the road ahead long. The man is drinking heavily when he suddenly calls out to her. An unsettling huis-clos, and a claustrophobic space that forces both occupants to confront their inner truths and relationship with one another.
Hytti Nro 6 (Compartment No. 6): an Arctic road trip movie
In 2010, Juho Kuosmanen was awarded the Cinéfondation's Premier Prix for Taulukauppiaat (The Painting Sellers), while his romance and first feature film Hymyilevä Mies (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki) won him the Un Certain Regard Award in 2016. Now in Competition for the first time, the Finnish director's Hytti Nro 6 (Compartment No. 6) is being screened at the Grand Théâtre Lumière.
Intrigued by Rosa Liksom's novel of the same name (published in 2010), Juho Kuosmanen decided on a loose adaptation of the story of this young foreign woman who sets off to escape herself across Siberia and Mongolia, before ultimately being forced to confront herself.
"A train journey is like destiny. You're on the tracks, doing what you can with what you have."
Drawn to the strength and vulnerability Seidi Haarla (better-known as a stage actor) brings to her work, the director decided to have her perform alongside Yuriy Borisov (Ljoha). Two characters who are worlds apart, forced to forget their prejudices of the other in a bid to strike balance: the key to a better world, according to Juho Kuosmanen.