Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale 

A decidedly different – and darkly funny – take on Santa

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This new holiday tale, set in Lapland, asks the eternal question: Is there really a Santa Claus? Young Pietari, who lives with his father in northern Finland, thinks that a mining company may have disturbed Santa's lair in a nearby mountain. While Pietari frets about Santa, the men of the village -- who are the kind of rough-edged, snowmobiling, reindeer-shooting Arctic Circle bad-asses Sarah Palin's Alaska can only fantasize about -- tackle a weirder problem: Somebody stole all the heaters. Jalmari Helander's film isn't your granny's Christmas charmer; it zigs, then zags, slowly revealing its dark, comedic heart. And though this tale centers on a naive child wondering about Santa, this is not a film for the kiddies. Unless, of course, your brood is into gutted reindeer, X-mas Eve profanity and dozens of old naked Finnish dudes running in the snow. But if you're fed up with holiday schmaltz, pack your sleigh -- and chain-saw -- for this entertaining, and weirdly uplifting, bit of frosty bad attitude. In Finnish, with subtitles. 7:45 p.m. Sun., Dec. 26, through Wed., Dec. 29. Oaks



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