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Review: Farcical Finnish Flick 'Nimby' Loses the Thread

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Dec 1, 2020
Susanna Pukkila and Almila Bagriacik in 'Nimby'
Susanna Pukkila and Almila Bagriacik in 'Nimby'  

From Finland comes "Nimby," a rather absurdist drama centered around a lesbian couple's attempt to come out to their respective parents. What was a seemingly straightforward trip home to a remote town for Melvi (Susanna Pukkila) to introduce her German girlfriend Kata (Almila Bagriacik) turns into total chaos.

The moment the pair steps off the bus in the town square they are surrounded by a bunch of Neo-Nazi thugs protesting a new refugee center in Town. That should have been enough for them to get straight back on the bus, but like most plot strands in the film, nothing is what it seems to be.

One of the neo-Nazis is Mervi's ex-boyfriend, and the refugee center is run by her father. When the girls eventually arrive at Mervi's family home, they catch her parents in the midst of a swinging session with their best friends, the local pastor and his wife.

The situation turns more farcical when Kata's parents turn up out of the blue. Her Muslim mother is an important diplomat who deals with refugees, and once the neo-Nazis discover her presence they barricade the house and threaten to burn it down with all its habitants.

Meanwhile, inside, the bible-bashing preacher's wife (now fully clothed) takes umbrage with the girls' being lesbian and the mother not being a Christian. But by this point, the muddled plot has lost any real sense of direction, and our only intrigue is how director/writer Teemu Nikki is going to get out of this mess.

Whether this had been intended to be a rom-com or even a political satire is still unclear. It is, however, one of the first LGBTQ dramas from Finland we have ever seen, and we hope that others land better than this.

"Nimby" screens at OUTShine Film Festival Dec. 3 - 6

Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.

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