Award-winning documentary film director and screenwriter, film theorist and Doctor of Arts Susanna Helke (b. 1967) is an associate professor at Aalto University. Her new documentary Ruthless Times – Songs of Care utilises songs and dark humour in commenting on the current state of elderly care in Finland. The film opens DocPoint 2022 and takes part in the National Competition.
Helke’s films have been featured at numerous festivals around the world. Her solo directorial efforts include the short documentary Playground (2010) as well as American Vagabond (2013), shot in the USA and depicting young, homeless gay men. Helke began her filmmaking career by co-directing with Virpi Suutari. They made seven documentary films together, out of which the most acclaimed is The Idle Ones (2001), winner of the Jussi award, among other accolades.
Watch Susanna Helke’s Q&A below. The video is in Finnish.