Reindeerspotting: A Junkie's Tale


Reindeerspotting: Escape From Santaland
Directed by Joonas Neuvonen
June 8 through 13, MOMA

Junkies are junkies wherever you go, and in this gonzo doc, the ashen, frigid cityscapes of Finland are home to a busy tribe of thieving hopheads devoted to the smack stand-in Subutex. Off-screen, director Joonas Neuvonen admits in an early title that he, too, uses daily, and indeed the film slouches and skitters along with a druggie’s lazy eye and penchant for serendipity. (Another HD video advantage: self-focus.) His protagonist and dope-buddy Jani is a scarecrow of a handsome teen who’s already had two fingers axed off in a dispute; his varied and intense ingestion of chemicals allows for an in-depth discussion of the hows and whats, but it’s also as tiresome as hanging with high friends when you’re sober, all of the action and amusement trapped in their skulls. Mostly pathetic but on occasion grimly funny (watching Christmastime reindeer races, a blasted idiot topples two stories to the street below, all caught in real-time by Neuvonen’s lens), Reindeerspotting eventually lights out for the frontier, like so many crazed-youth films before it. (In France, Subutex is free to junkies.) The Mediterranean sunlight intoxicates the Finns, but predictably it’s a dire road to nowhere.

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I created an account just to say how much of a idiotic review this is.  How you are a top critic on rotten tomatoes befuddles me.  There is not supposed to be happiness and excitement in this documentary.  Of course it is in their heads, they are drug addicts.  You obviously know nothing about addiction and what it entails.  This dream of escaping to a farm with a wife and children, tilling the land is such a powerful point in this documentary.  Addicts live a life of not only regret, but wanting something else.  They are trapped in a place they want to escape, but have been enslaved by a substance and have nothing left but hopes and dreams.  Shit review, 0/10


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