When heroes lie movie poster


When Heroes Lie is the Finnish Film Gala movie of this year's Love & Anarchy Film Festival

Release 15.8.2012 

The documentary When Heroes Lie has been chosen as the Finnish Film Gala movie of the year in the Love & Anarchy - Helsinki International Film Festival. The bold documentary film by Arto Halonen has its official premiere at the festival on 26 September 2012. This is the first time in the history of the festival that a documentary is the Gala's opening film.

When Heroes Lie is a bold documentary feature film that draws a grim picture of the history of doping in cross-country skiing, and reveals the body of lies within competitive sports at the highest level. The world championships in Lahti 2001 were meant to be a golden moment in Finnish cross-country skiing. But that didn’t happen.

“A catastrophically large shame” occurred when six Finnish skiers were caught using forbidden substances. A series of Finns were busted, leaving behind serious questions: Was this a momentary slip-up and “the workings of amateurs”? Or was it instead part of a deliberate, long-term, worldwide fraud?

The documentary When Heroes Lie depicts the history of doping all the way from the 70’s until the modern age. We follow the dramatic turns of the World Championships in Lahti 2001, and the trial of the Finnish news agency STT, which started in 1998. As a result of long and thorough research, much new information is shown in the movie about doping culture in Finnish cross-country skiing: its birth, its extent and its central influences. The movie includes interviews with coaches, skiers and experts known in the doping-culture, as well as archive material gathered from different sources. The doping system is brutally outlined -- a system where heroes were made at any cost. Any and all methods were used, and the nation didn’t ask questions about it.

The movie portrays, through the lens of sport, the way our society creates the foundation for lies and double-standards in our attempts to win. It also raises the question of whether the distortions in sport are a reflection of the distortions in society in general: is society working under the same rules as sport is? The movie is written by director Arto Halonen together with Jouni K. Kemppainen and Kevin Frazier.

The doping issue and other social and moral questions regarding competitive sport at the highest level will be discussed in a panel held at Tavastia club on 27 September from 6pm. Participants in the panel are Member of Parliament and former Minister of Justice Tuija Brax, Minister of Culture and Sport Paavo Arhinmäki, Minister Lauri Tarasti and international doping expert Sandro Donati. Hannu Itkonen, chairman of the European Association for Sociology of Sport, will serve as the moderator.

When Heroes Lie premieres in movie theatres on 5 October 2012.

Additional information:

Art Films production AFP Oy
Merimiehenkatu 10
00150 Helsinki, Finland
Tel. +358 9 4159 3640
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