International Premiere @ tiff’17
ANGELA (29) blows into a small town in the Finnish country side, dazzling the locals with her exotic dancer troupe, sequined swirls and mega-watt smile. After a nasty encounter backstage she leaves town just as fast, only now with her estranged half-sister Anna (21) in tow.
AFTER SOME INITIAL HESITATION, Anna embraces exotic dancing and life on the road. She even steps up to the
plate when thugs follow Angela around to collect a large debt. Having started as a drama, MIAMI shifts into higher gear as a thriller-driven road movie.
SEDUCED BY Angela’s way of life, believing in daydreams and last-minute bailouts, Anna devises an ambitious and dangerous black mail scheme to help her out. The journey brings the sisters together and they make up for the lost years.
HOWEVER THE DARKNESS that Angela’s troubles arise from is too deep to handle for Anna, who is just starting to
find herself as an adult. She’s trying to protect Angela with the little bit of maturity that she just found, but none of the bubbly champagne and sequined costumes can save her now. The sisterhood has become a complex mine field in which Anna can either find – or lose – herself.
Presenting the film director ZAIDA BERGROTH’s take on the movie, the theme, the stars and the importance of this movie:
MIAMI is built around the one question that has puzzled my mind: How to love a dazzling and empowering but at the same time irresponsible and dangerous person? Angela, the charismatic big sister, makes Anna, her timid little sister bloom. But when Anna sees the dangerous side of Angela she must make her decision, either give herself up to Angela’s naive world or to choose the mature adulthood and responsibility, though the latter would mean losing this new source of her happiness.
TO HANDLE THE THEMES of distorted family relations and finding one’s identity through a crime film felt inspiring and liberating. The survival story and suspense plot form the main line of the film: sisters must get the money, by hook or by crook, and eventually they end up doing a dangerous job that’s just too big for them to handle. At the same time the relationship between the sisters grows which gives the real heart for the story.
ANNA AND ANGELA are exotic dancers, the kind of characters who usually are only given a passing role. After reading about some highly public scandals involving dancers, I became intrigued by how these kinds of women were portrayed in the media: how easily they were objectified, ridiculed and looked down upon. I wanted to challenge that, and to show the sisters in their own terms, avoiding both a moralizing tone and a lurid voyeristic gaze.
Anna and Angela are complex and fallible, and not defined by their relations to men, but by the love they have for each other.
MIAMI is a very important film to me, not only for its themes but for the whole working process as well. Krista Kosonen and Sonja Kuittinen are amazing professionals and watching them to throw themselves into the world of Miami was exciting. The story itself encouraged us filmmakers to some liberating extravagancy – Miami is filled with colors and glitter, dramatic turns and great music. We were also affected by Angela’s life philosophy so we didn’t want to hold anything back.