The Hypnotist


Scotiabank Theatre 8 Sat, Apr 27, 2019 9:15 PM
TIFF Lightbox 2 Mon, Apr 29, 2019 1:00 PM
Hart House Theatre Sun, May 5, 2019 6:15 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:Finland
Premiere Status:North American Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Accessibility:Full Subtitles
Program Category:Making Believe
Film Subjects:Mystery & Intrigue
Politics & Political Intrigue
War, Conflict & the Military
Northern Europe
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Arthur Franck
Producer(s):Oskar Forstén
Editor(s):Markus Leppälä
Writer(s):Arthur Franck
Cinematography:Mikko Kelloniemi
Composer:Toni Teivaala
Sound:Tuomas Klaavo


What do Finland's most famous hypnotist and its longest-serving president have in common? If I told you, I'd have to kill you... During the Cold War, Olavi Hakasalo, a.k.a. Olliver Hawk, was charming the nation with his hypnosis shows and proselytizing on the power of suggestion. At the same time, President Urho Kekkonen was ruling the country, occupying the top post for so long that his time in office was mockingly referred to as "Kekkoslovakia." But fame didn't satisfy eccentric showman Hakasalo, just as protracted power didn't placate father figure Kekkonen, and an unlikely influence passed between the men, as one's powers of persuasion and the other's authority turned towards covert operations and populism. An entrancing and nutty film that confounds the viewer's ability to differentiate between fact and fiction, The Hypnotist dramatizes the ambiguity and unreliability of personal history while showing how power can direct a person's mind. Angie Driscoll

Included Shorts

Nyctophobia (9min) More

Additional Information

  • POV - "A remarkably well-crafted film."