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Little Wing

(Tyttö nimeltä Varpu)
Finland/Denmark 2016. Dir: Selma Vilhunen. 100 min. DCP

The fiction-feature debut of Finnish filmmaker Selma Vilhunen, director of the Oscar-nominated short Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?, is a smart and sensitively-handled coming-of-age tale about an adolescent girl in search of her birth father. Twelve-year-old Varpu, bright and independent, is overwhelmed by the erratic behaviour of her oft-absent, increasingly-negligent single mother. Nagged by her nosey peers about her home life — to which she coolly conjures up invented stories — Varpu starts digging into her biological father’s identity and whereabouts, before embarking on a runway journey to find him. “Authentic and emotionally gratifying, Vilhunen’s debut is an earnest and endearing drama, one that’s often elevated by a lens that’s both solicitous and sweet in capturing this poetically wistful examination of early adulthood and lost innocence” (Will Ashton, The Playlist). In Finnish with English subtitles.