Home > Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
If you’re not a huge fan of Christmas films then Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale may be the sort of thing you can stand. It’s about the real Santa Claus, who was from Finland and was captured by angry villagers (he kept killing the naughty children because Old Saint Nick used to take the ‘naughty’ part of ‘naughty or nice’ hella serious.) Once captured he was frozen and buried in a mountain.
In the present day, some Americans come along and get him out to bring him back to the States because America. This goes about as well as you’d imagine.
Three reindeer hunters go after their source of income only to find something else has got to it first. One of the hunter’s sons, Pietari, knows what’s going on, but no one listens to him because he’s a kid and because adults. Once the bizarre occurrences begin piling up (all of the radiators have been stolen for one), Pietari’s father takes him more seriously. He’s the one who has to save Christmas, by dealing with the real Santa Claus. And the real Santa Claus don’t play.
Based and filmed in breath-taking Korvatunturi in Finland, the setting is a character in itself. And for good reason. From the Wikipedia page:
Korvatunturi is best known as the home of Father Christmas (or Joulupukki in Finnish). According to Finnish Folklore, this land is the location of Father Christmas’ secret workshop, where toys, trinkets and gifts are made and eventually wrapped by gnomes . Known for their good natured demeanor and their role as guardians of homes, these gnomes are also responsible for analysing weather patterns for the yearly gift-giving trip around the world.People have also said that the ear-shaped structure of the fell allows Father Christmas to hear the wishes of every child on Earth.
So there you are. Google Earth didn’t need to go through the trouble of inventing Santa’s workshop at the North Pole, because it’s actually in Finland.
Though there is definitely an overall sense of uncertainty of what’s going to happen, and kids are in danger at times, it’s still a Christmas film and it’s safe for kids to watch. Ten and over, I’d say, perhaps even eight and over. It is still darker than what American audiences are used to at the holidays, which is why I liked it (and I would have loved it as a child.)
If I had children, this would be a tradition in our house, definitely. Mostly because there are great moments of laugh out loud humour. At times, it’s only a few paces away from an Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost film. I’m usually against English-language remakes, but if it does happen, that’s the team that would make me grumble least. So you guys have at it.