Going to Kansas City (1998)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Drama  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - Canada , Finland   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Sandra Brennan

Dreaming of becoming a famous blues musician, a young Finn leaves Helsinki and heads for Kansas City only to learn that his host family resides in nearby Canaan, a rural town where xenophobic locals treat him with contempt and suspicion. At first the upbeat Mikko Vihavainen (Mikko Nousianen) pays the locals little mind. After all, his host mother Bonnie Bruckner (Susan Almgren) and her boys are friendly enough, as is cute waitress Carly Malone (Melissa Galianos), the overprotected daughter of the town police chief (Michael Ironside). Mikko's dreams also sustain him. During the first half of Finnish director Pekka Mandart's feature-film debut, the tone is lighthearted and even humorous. However, the story takes a much darker turn in the second half when Mikko gets caught up in a convenience-store robbery that leaves two young people dead. With no apparent suspects, the police chief and the rest of the town charge Mikko with the crime. Their rage bursts into violence shortly after Mikko and Carly flee town. Going to Kansas City played at the 1998 AFI Film Festival as part of their European Film Showcase.



blues-music, false-accusation, murder, music, over-protective, police-chief, robbery, rurality, suspicion, waiter, xenophobia