In an especially appreciated instance of ask-and-you-shall-receive (and plainly great day for enthusiasts of five-hour Finnish cinema) the World Cinema Project’s restoration of Eight Deadly Shots will begin a theatrical rollout at Film Forum on March 31, courtesy Janus Films.

Long held as a benchmark of its national cinema and praised by the likes of Aki Kaurismäki, Eight Deadly Shots has, almost needless to say, struggled for deeper attention, and this writer’s efforts to see it were somewhat upheld by the promise of a restoration; this and the near-inevitability of Criterion release is more than would’ve seemed possible.

Based on a true story and starring writer-director Mikko Niskanen, Eight Deadly Shots has been praised for its fusion of domestic drama, political tension, and elaborate flashback structure––certainly one of the most ambitious things originally produced for television.

Find preview and poster below:

A long unsung landmark of Finnish cinema, inspired by actual events, Eight Deadly Shots is the magnum opus of writer-producer-director-actor Mikko Niskanen. He delivers a shattering performance as Pasi, a farmer who struggles to support his family through hard labor and who seeks release in alcohol—creating turmoil at home, bringing him into conflict with the law, and leading him on a slow slide toward self-destruction. Presented here in its original four-part format, as made for Finnish television, this monumental vision of everyday human endurance is the rare epic woven from the fabric of ordinary life.

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