SJalo-Island of Souls

20th September 2020



International contest

Brief Synopsis:

Själö means ‘the island of souls’, and no name could be more fitting for the island in the Baltic Sea, which for centuries was a last stop for women who were considered social outcasts – and who are today forgotten. They were forcibly placed in a closed institution to be studied, measured and weighed. Today, the place is a research centre. A young female scientist collects samples on the island, while the whispering voices of the past and never-sent letters echo in the empty hallways. The Finnish artist Lotta Petronella has a personal interest in writing the unknown history of the nameless women, and she does so through the traces left by the past. In a subdued and very Nordic aesthetic, Petronella lets the void speak.


Directed by: Lotta Petronella
Production: Made
Producer: Ilona Tolmunen
Editing: Matti Näränen, Lotta Petronella
Cinematography: Kerttu Hakkarainen
Running time: 78’
Country: Finland
Year: 2020

Director’s note: