Hoffman II: Picturing Home

torn formations / The Films of Philip Hoffman

The Philip Hoffman “introretrospective” is made up of five screenings that include both Hoffman’s own films and the works of his Finnish collegues. The programme has been curated by Philip Hoffman and the Finnish film maker Sami van Ingen.

The limits of cinematic expression have changed and expanded, and also our historical awareness has developed. Canadian experimental filmmaker Philip Hoffman has deep and solid roots in Finland. He has worked twice as a teacher in the University of Art and Design Helsinki during the 1990s , and his influence is prominent in the work of several filmmakers who started their careers back then. Highly personal subject matter and experimentation are the key concepts of Philip Hoffman’s work, which, on the other hand, is also a visual body of memory and emotions.

Perttu Rastas
Senior Planning Officer, Finnish National Gallery

Hoffman II: Picturing Home

The films in this program picture home as a space that must be reclaimed. Philip Hoffman’s passing through / torn formations is a generational saga, laid over three picture rolls, that rejoins in its symphonic montage the broken remnants of his eastern-european family, which has been separated by war, disease, madness, and migration. In Orpojen joulu, Anu Kuivalainen, with passion and grace, seeks and finds the father she had never met. Kiti Luostarinen boldly uncovers difficult repressed family memories, using camera as both probe and witness in Sanokaa mitä näitte (Tell Us What You Saw). “What one does not remember, is the serpent in the garden of one’s dreams”. –James Baldwin

Films in the screening:

Orpojen joulu
Christmas in Distance
Finland / 1994 / 30 min / DCP
Director: Anu Kuivalainen
Photography: Juha-Pekka Inkinen, Anu Kuivalainen, Kaija Ruhanen
Edeting: Anu Kuivalainen
Sound: Anu Kuivalainen, Jaakko Nousiainen
Production: University of Arts and Design Helsinki / Department of Film, Television and Scenography
Distribution: National Audiovisual Archive (KAVI)

passing through / torn formations
Canada/ 1988 / 43 min / 16 mm
Director: Philip Hoffman
Music: Tucker Zimmerman
Production: Chimera Imaging
Distribution: Philip Hoffman

+ 15 min excerpt from Sanokaa mitä näitte (Tell Us What You Saw(Kiti Luostarinen, 1993)

Languages: English, Finnish
The Finnish film Orpojen joulu is subtitled in English.

Duration of the screening is 95 min.


  • Age limit: S
  • Format: 16 mm


  • Orion: Wednesday 27.1. at 20:30