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Flowers Of Evil

Flowers Of Evil is an edgy, topical and ragged story of a family trying to survive the pressures of restlesness.


Breathing with the rhythm of street music, Flowers of Evil is an edgy, topical and ragged story of a family trying to survive the pressures of restlessness. The main character Sipe, 14, has a touching relationship with his stepbrother Juno and his family, which is the main focus of our story. The threat is continuously simmering, until the unrest breaks out into a riot – with fatal results. Flowers of Evil is a social commentary on the problems of suburban life in Helsinki.


Two young brothers struggle with life on a powder keg housing estate. One chooses punk rock and education, the other crime and confrontation. Caught in the middle and torn both ways, their father tries to hold the family together. But miscalculated actions and police overreaction light the fuse and a typically long, hot, Finnish summer explodes as frustration and despair finally boil over.


The idea for the film came to me from the Stockholm riots in 2012. I began writing in 2013 the day I read about a 18-year-old boy being shot by his best friend over a 125€ drug deal gone bad in Laajasalo Helsinki. This event inspired me to do research on the multicultural and vivid life in the suburbs of Helsinki. While writing, I interviewed and met over a hundred teenagers and several social workers to dig out the truth of the life in Helsinki. The script evolved even during the filming with new incidents and things happening around us. Not because of the new wave of immigration but because of the lack of social support for years in Finland - Helsinki now has two generations of delacted youth looking for a way out of crime, violence and poverty. I also found out that the people living in the suburbs have much less rasist opinions than rest of Finland. Majority of the native Finns felt that immigration had actually helped the environment to become more colorful and positive. This was later also mentioned in several academic studies I read while researching the topic. The majority of the filming was done in the Eastern Helsinki suburbs Kontula, Jakomäki and Pihlajisto. Everything was shot on locations and no sets were used. None of young actors were professionals. I aimed for a documentary feel and felt it was vital to only cast people who have actually lived in suburbs and experienced the life in there. The casting process took 6 months and I auditioned over 490 teenagers that all had a background in the living environment of Eastern Helsinki.

Antti J. Jokinen
Director & writer

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