Lynx Man


Finland, Estonia 2023
In Finnish, subtitles in English
80 min
Suitable for all ages
Director: Juha Suonpää
Screenplay: Juha Suonpää, Hanna Kaihlanen
Production: Pasi Hakkio, Niina Virtanen / Wacky Tie Films, Klara Films, Swamphead
Print Source: Wacky Tie Films

Hannu Rantala has been observing the lynxes living in his backyard for several years. Through game cameras hidden in the forest, he monitors the lives of the lynxes he knows – Parta-Jooseppi, Täplä, Ärmätti, and Laitilan Kauhu – and claims to be able to communicate with them. Through the game cameras he follows, the viewer also gets a glimpse of the life of animals that are usually hiding in the forest.

This dreamlike documentary comes close to its human protagonist while maintaining a respectful distance from the wild animals, thus managing to avoid excessive sentimentality or unnecessary anthropomorphization. Estonian nu-folk band Puuluup’s magical music complements the beautiful cinematography and editing.

“It’s a political statement to be crazy”, the director Juha Suonpää has said, and as the documentary unfolds, the viewer is motivated to ponder who actually is the crazy one: Hannu, defending the lynxes with his animal masks, or the surrounding system that threatens not only the lynxes but the whole ecosystem.

Nelia Naumanen