Say Yes and Dance @ Au Contraire Film Festival

Finnish short film (8 minutes) directed and written by Antti Heikki Pesonen has screened previously at other festivals like Locarno and Scanorama now is at the Au Contraire Film Festival in Montreal. The festival attempts to shed light on mental health by dispelling the myths surrounding mental illness. As such all their films, short and feature length,

Say Yes and Dance is a story many can relate to being centered around Harri (Mikko Kouki), a man who hates his job. Harri works at a meat factory in a supervisory capacity. On this day he is to interview a man for a job.

The man (Ville Tiihonen) arrives, he disheveled and unkempt. With odd behaviour, the man blurts out that he does not really want the job. Harri is thrown. He is curious as to why someone who is obviously without a home/unemployed is not interested in getting a job. The two men don’t really understand the other’s perspective. What we have here is not a failure in communication, but understanding. Harri tries to arrive at a state of understanding.

Understanding is the main theme of the film. No matter our state of mind, we must be open to other’s realities. Their lives being different from the ones we lead. Their realities being different. An open mind is required in this world. That living a different life should not be seen as being lesser. That those affected by mental health issues should not be outright dismissed or feared. They need understanding.

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