Europe is a mortally sick woman who is killing time with her Chinese Man Machine. They are at their last post. Outside lies a snow covered wasteland. Elsewhere, on a glacier is an institute, where a group of nurses are faithfully playing their regressive part in the execution of a new world order. Their trance is disrupted by a stranger. All is lost. The final act is about to begin.

During the making of W, the world has changed in front of our eyes, and I have had an exceptional chance to include aspects of the almost overwhelming emotions and tensions of that change, into this film. That would not have been possible, if my way of making films would be anything other than what it is: Auteur work to it’s core. There are so many unexplainable and almost spiritual qualities in this art form that never cease to amaze me. Perhaps it has something to do with creating a collateral reality and living in it for such long periods of time, that the so-called actual reality around you starts to feel mute, vague, if not completely crazy. This is, I think the greatest gift art can give to the artist and to the spectator: You begin to see the reality for what it is. Just a silk paper thin page of an infinite, incredible, immensely complicated saga. This realisation, personally speaking, is the only form of hope I need or maybe, deserve. But going back to the life of W. I rewrote the script almost completely along the way. As what was unfolding around us was a catastrophe, not the making of a virus as such, but of fear, deep dissatisfaction and absence of significance, that suddenly seemed to come to the fore, as months went by in the beginning of 2020. The almost touchable essence of fear was something that could not be seen as anything other than a profound loss of meaning, that had been spreading quietly like a cancer among us, in us, for years. Maybe even longer. And as it is wisely said “There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself”, was exactly what many of us were indeed worried about. Where would all this fear take us? What are we willing to sacrifice to end this fear? There has been a huge fire in Europe and some of us are still pretending they didn’t see it happen. What ultimately is W? I think it’s a merciless meditation on words, ideas and symbols that use to have immense weight and meaning. That defined human history and had the power to change us. Words like “Revolution” and “Eternity”. They’ve become laughable, almost banal ideas. Not because they are, hell no, but because they don’t fit the over simplified way the human condition is being presented in the all consuming digital universe. Anything complex needs to be cancelled. Anything that upsets or involves a risk to be misunderstood. How can art survive in such an environment? Let alone the truth.W is most certainly a macabre trip, because the new reality that is slowly but surely being constructed around us like an invisible wall, seems nothing but macabre to me. Still, I’m waiting for it with a hunger of an animal, since what else is there?!There’s just no way an artist at this present time can afford to be nostalgic, sentimental or fearful. So even though W at times cries out for the past, it does so with the compassion of an executioner, and with a relentless search for a completely new, cinematic expression.

Genre: Psychological Drama
Autumn 2022
1 h 41 min

Director: Anna Eriksson
Script: Anna Eriksson
Producer: Matti Pyykkö
Production Company: Ihode Cursum Perficio Production

Film Poster of the year award
Espoo Ciné Film Festival

Best Feature Film and best Film Score award
Vienna Independent Film Festival

Best Director, Actress (Anna Eriksson), Art Direction awards Prague Independent Film Festival



World premiere Locarno Film Festival

Helsinki International Film Festival 

North American premiere:
Festival du Nouveau cinéma, Montreal

Universal science fiction
and Fantastic Film Festival,Turkey


Nazaré New Wave Film Festival

Espoo Ciné International Film Festival 

The Vienna Independent Film Festival 

Prague Independent Film Festival

Cine Tonalá, Mexico City


Filmoteca UNAM , Mexico City

The Film, W, Reviews
Europa is Hell

Author Teresa Vena / Filmstart / Filmmagazin

Finn Anna Eriksson, who has had a successful singing career, has changed her music to film. A woman with a cosmopolitan punk soul does not compromise. This becomes unmistakably clear in her second full-length film, "W" (the first was "M"). This is shown by the fact that - apart from production and camera work - he is responsible for almost everything herself: script, editing, sound, music, set design, costumes, make-up... With this film designed as a total work of art, Eriksson has created an environment that is probably pretty close to what most people would call hell. Here you don't suffer from heat, but from extreme cold. It smells like death and urine in here.

It doesn't matter if the characters are real, soulless husks or ghosts. In any case, they only serve as a backdrop for the last desperate gasp and absurdly tasteless self-image of the long-ago dethroned queen. A blizzard rages in a lonely landscape. We see a pyramid-shaped building, decaying and dirty. In one of the tall rooms reminiscent of the interior of a cathedral, Madame Europe (Anna Eriksson) is lying on a musty sofa. Her body is framed with various leather bracelets and metal loops. She is clearly suffering. Angry and desperate, she keeps yelling for red liquid. Instead, she gets an oxygen mask. She has also created a servant (Parco Lee) who remains loyal to him but also makes no secret of how much he opposes Europa. 

In another part of the building, which looks like an old hospital, nurses of all ages wander around, sometimes mopping the floor, sometimes gathering in the dining room to sip a white, milk-like substance from small tin cups - until one by one they pass out. They are literally short circuited. In addition, the pyramid is haunted by a middle-aged white-haired man (Jussi Parviainen) and a child (Jooseppi Pyykkö)...

There is a war in Europe. The phone rings, a man with Asian features picks up the handset. The other man on the phone says excitedly: He would like to speak to Madame Europe. The first man answers, Europe can't, she's not there. Then he hums the Marseillaise with a dry tone and watches as Europa climbs the wall on her back, writhing in pain and emaciated, as if she was possessed by an omnipotent demon. A demon that gradually sucks him dry from the inside. The man on the phone calls again later and announces that his assignment as captain has been completed: "It's done. We're waging a silent war." It's a political parable full of obvious symbolism, which Eriksson renders with the letter "W," perhaps meaning "war." Europe is the personification of the continent of the same name.

Eriksson describes a decaying Europe that is on the verge of final collapse. The character Europa is a living corpse, short-faced and smug. She has long since lost her mind. "Does she have more than one idea left?" asks his servant in Chinese. A desperate attempt to commit to one's self-proclaimed greatness, righteousness, or freedom is pure self-deception. Eriksson is tough for Europe. She is nothing more than a racist and a liar who sold his children for quick money. It might be a bit daring to put this criticism in the mouth of a Chinese actor......but it also fits the director's general reasoning when she describes the servant as a creature created by Europa and then has him confess that when Europa sinks into her drug addiction, the servant systematically rapes her.

Eriksson is probably aiming for more than an ambivalent relationship between Europe and China. At some point it will also become clear what Europe actually needs all the time. The red liquid she craves is blood. And finally, she stands in her own urine and drinks a cup of blood, as the war rages outside. The sounds of the Marseillaise, echoing through the thunder of the cannons, seem mere mockery.Eriksson draws the abundance of her imagery from different sources, but the whole is still convincing. Derived from Greek mythology, the motif is that Europe's servant was created like Pygmalion's wife. Europa's recliner is placed below the terrestrial globe, as Europa often sees itself as the center of the world. An unusual idea is the figure of an elderly man whose breasts are being pumped by nurses. This evokes associations with Stanley Kubrick's cult scandal A Clockwork Orange milk bar. And the scenes where Europa crawls along the wall can easily compete with familiar effects from exorcism movies. Also the reference to the sado-maso world with leather and chain clothes, and the close connection between pleasure and pain is striking. Last but not least, the gritty aesthetic and physicality of the film brings to mind the early works of David Cronenberg ("Crimes Of The Future").

It's remarkable what "W" pulls out of fairly limited resources. In terms of content, a few elements evade a more precise interpretation, but still they only support the surreal, apocalyptic atmosphere that the film is able to create. This biting satire may be too much for the faint of heart, although the scenes of nudity, sex or individual torture are ultimately less impressive than the faces illuminated by the harsh hospital light. They have their own rough edges. Coarseness. Trimmings. 


The Finnish director Anna Eriksson presents a stylistically very assured political, allegorical work, which takes an extremely independent position in European cinema, both in terms of its content and visually.

W -
Decaying Europe in the sick sleep of a body

Film Critic Luigi Abiusi/ Il Manifesto

Anna Eriksson starting from the "Settimana della Critica" viewing in Venice a few years ago, she has become known in other parts of Europe. Her meaty, baffling and political films have plowed the soil of various European festivals, causing cracks in their traditional image world. In 2018, we saw M: the shriveled and fascinating Marilyn Monroe forcibly opened, did violence to the gaze, tore the protective membrane off the eyes of the spectators at the Venice Film Festival. ''

In Locarno, W is shown outside the competition series: in it, Anna Eriksson emphasizes even more the hopelessness that is a running theme in her cinematography. The denial of the existence of all value and truth, through which dimly penetrates a repetitive pattern, a black abyss into which meanings, concepts, the coherent fabric of the story fall or disappear. This time, political intrigues make the topic even more obvious than before. W belongs to the post-Pasolini period, it is a film of excesses, and at the same time immensely fascinating. It is a self-destructive work, carried by the restlessness and disturbances of open, dismembered bodies, an inner world reflected by finely detailed faces. The facial features are dominated by repeated haughty and contemptuous expressions, convulsions and grimaces, which seem to erode the leaden white steadfastness and unity that covers the faces of the individuals. This is how it refers to Roy Anderson's expression, the grotesque, which is completely petrified into a puppet-like state, the stuck, mechanical movements of the characters.

However, it is not about ghosts – the ghosts named by Marx, Jacques Derrida would say – nor about the materialized figure of the spirit, on the non-existent thin surface of the outermost layer, the match of History is played.
Rather, we can talk about dead bodies, pale decaying carcasses that concretely embody the loss of Europe, the festering, reedless abscess of politics. Above all, the body is that of Europa, a Cronenbergian woman, encased in leather and metal strings, endowed with filthy sensuality, who suddenly pisses on the floor from a still, somehow, desirable cunt while urination opens the floodgates, the pendulous flesh of the labia majora, and wets them, exposes them jagged; and frenzies, sick, gasps, asks for blood potions to continue to exist. The woman's Chinese cavalier almost always denies them to her, at the same time insulting and rejecting her. Sometimes rarely, during intercourse, a man gives blood to a woman until he decides to ejaculate.

However, the political metaphor does not obscure the literal interpretation. The lush introduction of strange characters, their emaciated, deathly pale selves, their interrelationships in an ecosystem of pure suffering. Likewise, the structuring of the space (some kind of torture hospital), which is measured by cacophonies, the fading sounds of songs: they die away somewhere in the hospital's empty and jewelless cavity. The places are mostly appropriately forced into a mold, built to impress and mislead like some part of Matthew Barney's Cremaster series. Characteristic of a certain kind of video art, the placement of monstrous or at least strange figures against the background of space gazing seems to be Anna Eriksson's main frame of reference. But along with Matthew Barney, there's more to it as well – maybe the darkest David Lynch comes to mind, stripped of his automatic writing.
One has to wonder what remains of Lynch beyond the dreamlike automatism. Possibly, what remains is the dead body of a dream (with its allegorical dimensions: the European dream left by death), the characters depicted directly from the front, the physicality of the human body (again a memory of Pasolini), the dark void in the state of decay – at the end of the story, at the end of every life – devoid of any mystery.