Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival

Programme (2020)

Carnival Pilgrims (2020)


The most fundamental human need isn’t sex, it’s the desire to be somewhere else, claims Mika Mattila’s essay film Carnival Pilgrims.

Director-cinematographer Mika Mattila tours the tourist attractions of the world and films inconspicuously the formulaic behaviour of the tourist masses.

Watching this cavalcade invokes amusement and also frustration. Do the tourists experience anything personal at these famous places or are they bound to play clichéd roles? Are they unknowingly participating in some kind of a ritual?

Observation led to a realisation: tourism is all about a ritualistic pilgrimage towards global identity. “Taj Mahal, Disneyland, the Great Wall of China: tourism draws the whole world into a collective experience. Even though there’s nothing religious to it, in a way the pilgrimage tradition lives on within the phenomenon”, Mattila ponders.

Mattila has also written, produced and partly edited the documentary, which consists of scenes from 12 countries and archive materials. At times the fleeting pictures combined with minimalistic music brings to mind the legendary Koyaanisqatsi.

The film doesn’t declare – instead different reasons to and ways of travelling are juxtaposed. Mattila criticises the notion that travelling broadens your perspective: ”Perhaps it only increases prejudice.”

Olli Laine
Translation: Maiju Jouppi

[eventio_frame id=5a44a0a26563f3db2b8b4567 cef_5a434efa6563f3531e8b4567=%the_title%]

Film Title : Carnival Pilgrims
Language : Useita kieliä (mm. englanti, akkadi, romania)
Director : Mika Mattila
Year : 2020
Length : 87
Age limit : S
Format : DCP
Cinematographer : Mika Mattila
Editing : Okku Nuutilainen, Anders Teigen
Music : Kristoffer Lo
Producer : Mika Mattila, Dag Hoel
Production Company : Ideasthetic, Dag Hoel Produksjon

Screenings :
Tue 28.1. at 17.30, Maxim 1, followed by a Q&A with director Mika Mattila
Thu 30.1. at 18.00, Kinopalatsi 6, followed by a Q&A with director Mika Mattila
Sat 1.2. at 13, Kinopalatsi 7
Sun 2.2. at 13.00, Maxim 1, followed by a Q&A with director Mika Mattila