A young boy lives with his mother on a farm surrounded by deep forest in the remote wilds of the Finnish countryside. From time to time, the boy visits his father - a man of great violence - in prison. Locked in the st...展开able is an unruly horse, the boy's only other companion. Their simple life is disrupted when a stranger appears, with a note from the father and a bullet in his side. Reluctantly, mother and son offer the stranger refuge.
Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää's The Visitor (not to be confused with the Thomas McCarthy picture starring Richard Jenkins) carries on the vital lesson of Aki Kaurismäki, according to whom images speak more potently than words, especially in Finnish cinema. Valkeapää doesn't go as far as Kaurismäki did (he actually made a silent film, Juha, in 1999), but gets pretty close thanks to his bold narrative choice of having a mute protagonist. (...) He's on camera something like 95% of the running time, and the director uses his silence to pinpoint the real selling point of the film: the kid's relationship with nature, the only thing as quiet as he. Since the story takes place in winter, Valkeapää guides us, through the protagonist's eyes, into a landscape so beautiful it beats the living crap out of the best Christmas postcards.