Concrete Night

Denmark, Finland, Sweden, 2013


Bufo Film, Finnish, 96mins


Rotterdam, Toronto International Film Festival, Warsaw, TIFF, Thessaloniki, Leeds, Tallinn Black Nights, Jeonju


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In this dream-like odyssey, 14-year-old Simo is searching for his sense of place and the ability to protect himself from his surroundings. He lacks his own identity and he and his big brother Ilkka are the sons of a helpless and unpredictable single mother.

Their chaotic home is located deep in the heart of a concrete jungle in Helsinki. Ilkka has one day of freedom left before starting his prison sentence. The mother persuades Simo to spend their last night together.

Through the night the brothers witness incidents they would rather not see whcihb lead Simo to finding his lacking identity, his true face.

Director Pirjo Honkasalo wrote the film script based on the merciless novel Concrete Night by Pirkko Saisio, which was published in 1981. The script has been adapted to modern times. The 30-year-old novel foreshadows life today.

Cast & Crew

Producer - Misha Jaari, Mark Lwoff

Screenwriter - Pirjo Honkasalo, Pirkko Saisio

Co-Producer - Erik Hemmendorff, Marie Kjellson (Plattform Produktion), Lise Lense-Møller (Magic Hour Films)

Featuring - Johannes Brotherus, Jari Virman, Juhan Ulfsak, Anneli Karppinen

Cinematographer - Peter Flinckenberg F.S.C.

Music - Karl Frid, Pär Frid

Costume Design - Saija Siekkinen

Production Manager - Sanna Östman

Pirjo Honkasalo

Pirjo Honkasalo


Pirjo Irene Honkasalo (born 22 February 1947) is a Finnish film director who has also worked as a cinematographer, film editor, producer, screenwriter and actress. In 1980 she co-directed Flame Top with Pekka Lehto, with whom she worked earlier and later as well. The film was chosen for the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. In the 1990s she focused on feature documentaries such as "The Trilogy of the Sacred and the Satanic" (Mysterion, Tanjuska and the 7 Devils and Atman). Honkasalo returned to fiction with Fire-Eater (1998) and Concrete Night (2013), both of which were written by Pirkko Saisio. Concrete Night won six Jussi Awards in 2014, among them the Jussi for the Best Direction and the Jussi for the Best Film. Its world premiere was at the Toronto International Film Festival in Masters series.

Pirjo Honkasalo worked as provincial artist laureate in Central Finland 1974–1975. At that time she drove around the area with one-armed scholar who made research of traditional handcrafts. Honkasalo photographed all the interviewees voluntarily. On that journey she met the main characters of her documentary Their Age. She is the first honorary member of Women in Film & Television Finland. The organisation says that "Honkasalo has [...] made touching films of universal topics" and also spoken out about the gender inequality in film industry.

Pirjo Honkasalo and her partner Pirkko Saisio live in Kruununhaka, Helsinki, but they also have apartments in Tavastia, Turku and Madeira. Both of them enjoy travelling and they together have written a travel book Exit (1987). They've raised Saisio's daughter, actress Elsa Saisio, and are one of the best-known lesbian couples in Finland.