“I never thought this would happen here.”
Set in the Finnish countryside, A Moment in the Reeds follows the story of Leevi (Janne Puustinen) a college student on summer break. He’s helping his father, Jouko (Mika Melender) renovate the family’s lakeside home. The have a strained relationship made worse by the death of Leevi’s mother. This project is an opportunity for the two to bond but unfortunately they can’t see eye-to-eye on most things. Jouko hires Tareq (Boodi Kabbani), an English-speaking Syrian immigrant who doesn’t understand a lick of Finnish. Leevi serves as translator between the two. When his father’s business takes him away from the project leaving the two behind, they bond and soon discover their undeniable attraction to each other. In the Finnish summer when the days are long and the weather is more forgiving, Leevi and Tareq spend every waking moment together in each others arms. The threat of Jouko finding out about their relationship and the realization that their lives will take them in different directions prevents them from fully opening up to each other. Will what Leevi and Tareq have last for more than just a few summer days?
A Moment in the Reeds was written, directed and edited by Mikko Makela. This is his featured debut and one of the first LGBTQ films to come from his homeland of Finland. This is a quiet story with a few moments of real intensity. It’s spare, raw and poetic. More is said with a look than with words. The cinematography style with a hand-held camera gives the film a more intimate vibe. There are only four actors in the film and the majority of screen time is devoted to Leevi and Tareq’s story. Not much happens in the plot. It’s more about the connection between two people and the struggle between giving into physical attraction and protecting your emotional state when you’re scared to be hurt. The film is God’s Own Country (2017) meets Call Me By Your Name (2017) set in Finland. Some may find it a bit too quiet but others will appreciate it’s more intimate and subdued tone.
A Moment in the Reeds is available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital.