Palava Enkeli (1984)

Run Time - 106 min.  |   Countries - Finland  |  
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In yet another sobering story from Finland's cinematic professionals, this film narrates the true-life degeneration of Tuulikki Merinen (Riitta Viiperi), a young nurse unable to handle the mental and emotional stresses of working in a psychiatric hospital. Her father committed suicide, and her mother is an overbearing woman -- driving Tuulikki away from home to work in her profession in a hospital for the mentally disturbed. Given her own background, that was not a wise choice. Her first patient has lost all contact with reality and lives in constant fear of being wiped out in the "Big Bang." Unable to endure her terror any longer, the woman sets herself on fire with Tuulikki's lighter and burns to death. Deeply disturbed by her suicide, Tuulikki seeks refuge in a romantic liaison with a head doctor and then is shocked to discover that to him, she is only an occasional sexual partner. Riitta Viiperi convincingly creates the full gamut of the young nurse's emotional spectrum, and the film ends with a certain amount of hope -- yet the heavy-duty subject matter of this film may not be amenable to all audiences.

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Keywords

doctor/nurse, domination [influence], mental-illness, suicide