Manaki Brothers - International Cinematographers’ Film Festival

Arto Halonen and Joonas Pulkkanen showed a story for human trafficking

17 September, Bitola – The director of the festival and selector of the documentary program Gena Teodosievska at today’s press-conference introduced the director Arto Halonen and Joonas Pulkkanen, the cinematographer of the documentary film Back Towards Light. The film tells a story of human trafficking, told through Marisa, a girl who applies at a lawyer’s office for work, and suddenly ends up in Tunisia. A shocking testimony about the experience of a girl kidnapped by a man who had done that more than 10 times in Finland and had taken the girls in Tunisia, where he was turning them into sex slaves.

-Part of the film shows the therapy of Marisa who managed to help herself get back into the normal life through painting. She was using certain colors to showcase her emotions, and I later used the same colors as structure for the film. Colors helped her because all moments are connected to a certain color, and together with the director of photography we created a color-structure based on her therapy with colors, Halonen revealed.

Arto Halonen wanted fiction moments in the film and one cannot make up if the actress is the real protagonist or not. There is a significant sublimation of the two persons.

-We had one viewpoint in the whole film. The camera represents the viewpoint of Marisa. We used a special lens to achieve a blurry effect, an “anti-sharp” effect. In terms of the story, when I started working, I was shocked and I wondered if this is truth, the cinematographer Pulkkanen said.