Roma Mountain

Kokko Jaana

The film Roma Mountain has as its starting point the political awakening of Finnish-Estonian writer and leftist politician Hella Wuolijoki (1886-1954) and how she describes it in her memoirs. This awakening happened in her garden in Walga, in 1906 during the aftermath of the First Russian revolution of 1905.

Roma Mountain was filmed during the years 2017-2021 in Valka/ Valga, on the border of Latvia and Estonia. One of the film's storylines follows the changes in the landscape of Wuolijoki's early life. However, the film focuses on the experiences, everyday life and work of the women living at the present-day border. What remains there to live in a place from which the protagonist has left? What kind of a garden makes political awakening possible?

Instead of focusing on the writer’s significance, the film listens to the parts of history that are not well-written. One such event is the silenced genocide of the Roma people in the Baltics, experienced and told by a Roma woman.

Oral histories not only amend and add polyphony to historical events but may also provide the reasons for current societal conditions and injustices.

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Original Title
Roma Mountain
English Title

Roma Mountain

Production Countries
Jaana Kokko (Author), Jaana Kokko (Editor), Jaana Kokko (Producer), Jaana Kokko (Script), AVEK (Funder), Taiteen keskustoimikunta (Funder), Lock Hans-Günter (Sound Design)
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Jaana Kokko is an artist, filmmaker, teacher and occasional curator based in Helsinki. In her practice, she is now in the search of the common: the emergent need for the change that is starting from our practices of art making, learning and being together. Currently she is working with two bodies of films both located in the peripheries, trying to shift the gaze to the outskirts of the sight and hear. Her work has been exhibited e.g. at the Lithuanian National Gallery in Vilnius, Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga, Tallinn Art Hall, Helsinki Art Hall, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Joensuu Art Museum in Finland, Lappeenranta Art Museum in Finland, Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival, Tampere Film Festival and Tokyo Media Art Festival. She is and has been teaching and lecturing e.g. at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Turku Art Academy, Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn, Latvian Academy of Arts, Riga and Akademie der Bildende Künste, Nürnberg.