Private Project

Heron – Fragrance of violence

The short art film HÉRON consists of three storylines / events that are displayed in parallel throughout the film. The first part of the film was filmed in the forests of Småland in Sweden. The doll house, playing a central role in many scenes, is built to be a copy of a stout house in Småland in the years of 1700-1800. During this period there was famine and poverty in Sweden, especially in the regions of Småland. This led to a massive emigration to America. Letters from the emigrants told stories depicting a land of possibilities, religious diversity and political freedom. I relate to this because my family emigrated from Finland to Sweden, and I use this experience and transform it into art.

Unfortunatly the original house in Småland, including all the furniture, declined and had to be torn down to build new housing. But the doll house and the miniatyre furniture still exists, and have been documented in Héron – fragrance of violence. The other two parts were shot partly in Ramnäs, a large burnt down forest outside of Sala in Sweden, and in a green screen studio that we set up at Cité International des Arts in Paris. The material is combined in an experimental way / process; the different parts of the film coexist simultaneously and together they carry new meaning – through the variation of images and sounddesign when juxtaposed. The purpose was to create an 'automatic' art, developing the material directly from the subconscious, without being filtered through reason, morality or aesthetics. We played with the so- called 'automism' - a kind of random stream of inner images. In Paris we added elements not originally in the script, strong colors and new props; large bird heads and a blonde doll-woman. Me and David Nord shot and developed the new story threads in the green screen studio (we spent 2 month there). The “Doll shots” were inserted into the doll house that we filmed in Småland. I play all the grown-up characters in the film, and the children we shot in the forest are played by Siri Sutinen, Illyan Sutinen and Elvin Kander. Daniel Bingert composed the music for the film, David Nord did the sound design in collaboration with me. Editing, compositing and postproduction was done by David Nord. The main inspiration for the film derives from my childhood summer place in Majkkala järvi in Finland.

  • Natalie Sutinen
  • Natalie Sutinen
  • Natalie Sutinen
  • Natalie Sutinen
    Key Cast
  • Ilyan Sutinen Lundqvist
    Key Cast
  • Siri Sutinen Lundqvist
    Key Cast
  • Elvin Kander
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 18 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    28,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    France, Sweden
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital Raw
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF)
    United States
    April 27, 2019
    North America Premiere
    Short Film
  • Annual CPH Filmfestival
    March 14, 2020
    Best experimental
Director Biography - Natalie Sutinen

Born in Stockholm, 1972. Lives and works in Sweden.
Graduated from Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm, 2005

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Director Statement

When I work, I want to achieve a sense of urgency of coming up with something from the unconscious mind that has arisen in the concentration of being in the present.
I do not think in multiple stages of process when I create and the thought of an audience has nothing to do with my work process. The only thing I do is to try to access the unknown, which allows the subconscious to become real.
In the production I use materials that fulfill their function. I want the material to be charged and to some extent transient. The animals mainly birds, contribute with an exoticism. Allowing a human to harbor a bird's body detects captivity, but also a freedom to be able to lift to be free. The animals live in my art and are wild in their sophisticated expressions and sometimes I use extravagance and luxury to get a more burlesque character. Art must be sexy.
When I was about 10-years old, I created a graveyard for insects, for all the wasps and insects I found on our glass veranda. It was a kind of pastime. I decorated the burial ground and arranged gravestones and crosses. When the supply of already dead wasps and crickets came to an end, I had to devote myself to catching winged insects, which I then put to sleep into glass jars until they died. I poked them down and continued my "artwork" until a car ran over it and destroyed everything. I have a double life in my artistry. One is a pastime and the other one is of a more searching nature.
In the film HÉRON - fragrance of violence, the woman covers the dollhouse with a blue fabric, perhaps it is a veil of oblivion over the landscape of childhood.
Not until recently when I went through my work I saw that it is eternal summer in all my works.
My intentions with the produktion have been realized more than expected. It was very much about finding the right visual atmosphere in the places that could show the underwater environment I had in my mind when I worked out my script before the film. An underwater world is a description of a place where for intance scales are shifted and things can float freely. It is possible that it is an escape from death or it´s like after the storm when the still life begins in the eternal space.