Pirjo Honkasalo’s documentary The 3 Rooms of Melancholia depicts the vulnerability of a child’s mind. The main characters of the film are the 9 to 14-year-old boys at Kronstadt Cadet Academy, a woman called Hadizhat Gataeva who saves children from the ruins of Chechnya, and the children living across the border in the Ingushetia refugee camp. The setting is the everlasting Chechen war.
About the director: Pirjo Honkasalo was born in Helsinki in 1947. She entered film school at the age of 17 and completed her cinematographic thesis at the age of 21. In the same year, she shot her first full-length film. She continued to study and worked as an assistant at the Temple University in Philadelphia. Her first major directing role, the historical drama film Tulipää (Flame Top), was chosen for the Cannes Official Selection series in 1980. As a documentarian, she is best known for her trilogy The Trilogy of the Sacred and Satanic, the final part of which, Atman, won the Joris Ivens prize in Amsterdam in 1996. Her latest drama film, Tulennielijä (The Fire-Eater), won the AFI (American Film Institute) Grand Prix Festival in Los Angeles in 1998.