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Melancholian 3 huonetta (The 3 Rooms of Melancholia)

Melancholian 3 huonetta (The 3 Rooms of Melancholia) (2004)



Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 531

My Rating

Movie Info

The grim toll the war in Chechnya has taken on that nation's children is the focus of this harrowing and powerful documentary. The film's first chapter was filmed at the Kronstadt Cadet Academy, where children between the ages of 9 and 14 (many orphans or from poor families) are taught the skills of soldiers, foreshadowing the lives they will probably lead in the Army. In the second segment, cameras capture the sad realities of life in the bombed-out Chechen capitol of Grozny as orphanages

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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (3)

Superbly conveys its themes of despair and lost opportunities.

August 10, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Consistently moving but never quite coalesces into a strongly coherent whole.

July 29, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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An achingly beautiful look at the most tragic victims of the longtime war in Chechnya: children.

July 28, 2005
New York Post
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The acrid fog of war is palpable in Pirjo Honkasalo's magnificent documentary, The 3 Rooms of Melancholia, one of the saddest films ever made.

July 27, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Honkasalo's self-consciously high-art approach seems likely, at least for American audiences, to render an already remote conflict even stranger and more exotic.

July 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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A harrowing docu look at war and militarism's wounds, as seen through the eyes of Russian and Chechen children.

June 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Variety
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Steeped in the pain and sadness of war-torn children who have seen so many lives come and go around them[,] it forces us, too, to bear witness, if only for a hundred minutes.

May 29, 2006
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Melancholia leans heavily toward propaganda, but the movie is well done, albeit almost overwhelmingly dark.

February 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Honkasalo moves somberly and way too slowly through these three linked scenarios, and the droning score may induce sleep in the eyes of audience members.

February 24, 2006
Salt Lake Tribune

Nothing is sadder than a child who has experienced tragedy, but no trap is easier to fall into than that of dwelling on a moping kid until the image loses its meaning.

June 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Melancholian 3 huonetta (The 3 Rooms of Melancholia)

"The Three Rooms of Melancholia" is a trio of short documentaries from Finland:

1) A military academy of boys who are around 10-12 years old in Kronstadt which is near St. Petersburg.

2) Black and white footage of the devastation of the Chechen capital, Grozny. We are introduced to a woman who rescues orphans.

3) In a nearby republic, these orphans are sheltered on a farm. In the distance, we can hear warlike sounds that are reminiscient of thunderstorms on a summer day.

This film starts off subtly while we are being introduced to boys at the Russian military academy. In fact, I'm not really sure why we're there until we are introduced to two boys whose lives have been affected by the war in Chechnya - one of Russian parentage who was found there and another whose mother is serving in the armed forces there. News footage is also shown of a terrorist attack(the footage is repeated in the third segment). It is only till later in the film, that the military academy seems very troubling indeed. The documentary draws a direct line from scenes shown in the first segment with boys being shown how to kill at the military academy to the devastataion of Grozny to the refugees who are struggling to find a new life.

"The Three Rooms of Melancholia" is a cinematic essay on the effects of war but it concerns itself mostly with those who may one day be fighting it themselves. I saw little difference in the boys in Russia and Chechnya but a great deal of difference in how they were raised.
August 7, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Three Rooms of Melancholia (Melancholian 3 Huonetta) (DE)
  • Three Rooms of Melancholia (Melancholian 3 Huonetta) (UK)
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