|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Production country:||Deutschland/Argentinien/Finnland 2013|
|Running time:||Approx. 83 min.|
|Rated:||From 0 years|
Tango - most people associate it with passion, temperament and Argentine fire. Hardly anyone would associate the tango with Finland. But this is exactly where the real home of this emotional music lies. At least that's what Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki claims. The Argentinian tango musicians Chino Laborde, Diego Kvitko and Pablo Greco don't want to just accept this claim. They plan a trip to Finland to get to the bottom of Kaurismäki's outrageous thesis - and to disprove it as quickly as possible. But even though the country, language and culture are completely foreign to them, they quickly discover the very special charm of Finnish tango culture and, playing together with Finnish tango musicians, realise that their initial scepticism may really have been wrong.
In Midsummer Night's Tango, filmmaker Viviane Blumenschein accompanies the three hot-blooded Argentinians on their journey to faraway Finland. Along the way, she witnesses some amusing culture clash moments, but also some rousing encounters of the musical kind. With a lot of passion and wit, she takes the audience on an entertaining road trip that has some very nice moments to offer. However, the overall picture is marred by two spoilers. The first problem is that the exposition is way too long. By the time the basic theme is established and the trio sets off on their journey from Argentina to Finland, a lot of time has passed. All the stuff the director offers the audience here isn't really anything new and the right basic mood could have been built up with a much more streamlined introduction. In Finland, on the other hand, one would have liked to spend a little more time in the various places Chino, Diego and Pablo visit.
The second problem that causes the film to lose some of its show value is the fact that many scenes seem too obviously staged, which detracts from the documentary credibility of the whole thing. The fact that the three musicians meet the only Finnish taxi driver in Argentina, of all places, or that their rental car breaks down in the Finnish pampas, where they naturally meet a man with a mobile sauna, is quite nice to watch in itself, but just seems extremely contrived, with the three musicians not exactly revealing convincing acting talent either.
Who can overlook these weaknesses, gets a really very likeable film that shows how music can overcome borders and break down prejudices, how people from different countries suddenly speak one language when making music together and how much happiness and joy singing, dancing and playing instruments can spread. Not only for tango lovers and Finland fans, Midsummer Night's Tango is therefore absolutely worth seeing with small deductions!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp