Pelon Maantiede (Geography of Fear) – 2000

Imdb link:
Director:  Auli Mantila
Country: Finland*
Tanjalotta Räikkä….. Oili Lyrra
Anna-Elina Lyytikäinen…..Laura Lyrra

Run-time: 1 hr, 35 mins
* English subtitles.

An addition to the collective women/revenge collection. I had to search hard for this one, but I was far from disappointed once I finally found a copy of this film on DVD.

The main plot line, is of a young forensic dentist, Oili,  whose younger sister, Laura, is viciously mugged and raped.

Oili is also working on a police case of a dead male ‘John Doe’, recovered from thawing lake ice in the spring, and is in a relationship with one of the police detectives investigating the John Doe case as a homicide.

Through Laura, Oili subsequently meets a group of women, who undertake organised vigilante-style retaliation against male abusers of women, refusing to live in fear, or adapt to it, but to act on it.

As the title suggests, the main theme running throughout the film, is that of fear, living with it, dealing with it, adapting behaviour to it – the “landscape” or ‘geography’ of fear, particularly as an environment for women.

This film also draws the two sisters’ sometimes fiery relationship and conflicts, (as well as with men in the film), as a parallel with the socio-political conflict between the liberal socialist view of feminism, and the more militant view of sexual politics.

The murder/crime subplot, (with the investigation of the suspected homicide of the John Doe), also parallels this same conflict – as the  police are unwilling to drop their investigation – whereas Jane Doe bodies show up all the time, and they rarely bother to go to such lengths to find out ‘whodunnit’.

Meanwhile, Oili slowly comes to learn more and more about Laura’s involvement in the women’s vigilante group.  Oili never quite supports the militant view, indeed, speaking strongly against it,  threatening to report them, and trying to encourage her little sister to leave the group.  Over time, Oili comes to reluctantly becoming a silent witness, unable to either support or betray them.

Worthwhile for more than one viewing. Highly recommended.


One thought on “Pelon Maantiede (Geography of Fear) – 2000

  1. Okay, I have watched this movie twice now. God I hate subtitles, especially since you know they have been censored. There is more than what the English says, but oh well. The moral ambiguity that the main character suffers is really the story. I must say though I did not think the actress did it that well. One would think there would be more reflection than emoting with facial expressions. But, the message I got was that there is a thin line between what we have been taught to do and believe and what the reality really is and how to deal with it.
    The first time I watched it I felt that she went with the women. The second time, I felt she did not and was pulled back into her normal life. There is a saying; three steps forward, one step back, or is it two?
    The other part, the end where the asshole now lives in fear where women mostly live was absolutely cathartic. However, I was not sure he knew why and that his actions and beliefs were the cause of his own fear. I have never seen a movie like this before. No wonder it does not have wide circulation. The message to men is very scary and on a different level than most horror stories. Perhaps when I watch it again I will find more. Thank you so much for this movie. Despite, what I find wrong with it, it is amazing that it was ever made. The women behind it must be wonder women.

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