Eye For Film >> Movies >> Emergency Calls (2013) Film Review
Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson
Based on real calls and radio traffic, Emergency Calls opens with a statement advising viewer discretion. It's correct to do so, because this is powerful stuff; inspiring, despair-inducing, infuriating and affecting.
Often returning to footage of the Aurora Borealis shot from the International Space Station, the calls themselves are partially re-enacted. A blank-faced operator sits, a silver-seeming skipper stands, reading along with the recordings. There are flashes of radar, blinking lights, frost on windows all contributing to a degree of staged abstraction that almost hides the fact that these are real calls, real incidents, real anger ("post-haste you fuckers"), and real fear.
Nervous laughter from the audience is a sure sign of discomfiture, and Emergency Calls succeeded in elicitng it at the screening Eye For Film attended. Birth, death, school shootings and domestic violence, and running through it like a spine events from the sinking of the MV Estonia. Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen have structured their excerpts to create something compelling and haunting.Reviewed on: 16 Feb 2014