Juha Suonpää / Finland / 2023 / 80 min / World Premiere
A long-bearded Finnish hermit sweats out demons in his sauna, when he isn’t crawling around the forest floor at night with hidden cameras to document the shy and endangered lynx. Trippy and cinematic excursion into one man’s inner universe.
A Finnish equivalent of Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man, Hannu has a love and connection to nature that surpasses most. It is the rare lynx in particular that has bitten into Hannu’s heart – so much so that he actually claims to be able to speak its language. So when a dead lynx turns up in his forest, he dons an animal mask, crawls down on all fours and sniffs out the mystery through the mire and thicket. With hauntingly beautiful footage captured by hidden cameras throughout the forest, ‘Lynx Man’ paints a colourful and vivid twilight picture of the natural world around us – and of man’s impact on it. For no matter what Hannu does to live in harmony with the animals, he cannot hide from belonging himself to the species that is the lynx’s worst enemy. It makes sense that most of Juha Suonpää’s atmospheric film takes place in the twilight between dream and reality. Here, the vast forests come alive in Hannu’s hypnotic Night Vision footage of the nocturnal life of the lynx.