Heart of a Lion

Finland, Sweden, 2013
Directed by:

Dir.: Dome Karukoski
Prod.: Aleksi Bardy
Scr.: Aleksi Bardy
Phot.: Hena Blomberg
Ed.: Harri Ylönen
Music: Jean Paul Wall
Cast: Peter Franzén, Laura Birn, Jasper Pääkkönen, Yusufa Sidibeh
Distributor: Vertigo Média
99 mins.

Set against the rise of far-right, ultranationalist groups in Europe, Dome Karukoski's Heart of a Lion is a redemption story about the seemingly irredeemable: the leader of a ramshackle gang of racist skinheads who finds his prejudices and misplaced loyalties challenged by his desire for love and a family. While loitering in a café one day, Teppo (Peter Franzén) hits it off with the waitress, Sari (Laura Birn, one of Finland's most versatile young actors); he goes home with her, only to be abruptly, inexplicably tossed out in the morning. But Teppo refuses to give up, returning the next day, and soon meets Sari's son Rhamu, who, it turns out, is of partly African heritage. When Sari falls ill, Teppo agrees to look after Rhamu, struggling with his own bigotry while hiding his relationship with the boy from his fellow skinheads. That is until his violence-prone brother Harri shows up, and Teppo is forced to make some life-changing decisions. 


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