One Foot Under
Tobias Zilliacus, Helena Vierikko, Susanna Mikkonen, Jarkko Pajunen, Tuomas Rinta-Panttila
VISA VUORIO, 35, knows that his life will end within six months. He seeks peer support in a Degrieving group for people preparing for a pending departure but feels guilty among the other “Leavers” because his illness is practically symptomless. The only symptoms of the Jankowsky-Borlikoff Syndrome, a degenerative disease of the blood vessels in the brain, are momentary changes of consciousness.
Visa lives together with RIIA. The disease has come up right in the middle of a crisis in their relationship. Visa and Riia have however decided to set aside their trifled differences from the viewpoint of eternity, as they try to cope together with a much more acute crisis, Visa´s upcoming death. In this process, support is also offered by Visa´s best friend, HARRI, who is in love with Riia and would very much like to look after the widow-to-be even before she is widowed.
HANNA MANNINEN, 28, is a young reporter who is trying to practice a more ambitious line of journalism at a local free distribution paper. The paper´s managing editor, ILE, is Hanna´s ex-boyfriend. Ile is more interested in ad sales performance and rekindling the foregone relationship than in Hanna´s highbrow stories.
Hanna wants to do a set of stories on the last wishes of the Degrieving group members. Visa and Hanna go on a moonlighting job together at the paper´s expense – and fall in love. Hanna believes that Visa´s nearing death has bestowed him with exceptional wisdom and feels that she has finally met a man who strives for more than personal, earthly gain.
At a doctor´s appointment Visa discovers that he has been misdiagnosed. Visa leaves the hospital astound: he is not a Leaver. Despite the relationship benefits of the role, Visa decides to be honest and tell his loved ones that, for the time being, he isn´t leaving. But everyone seems to ascribe Visa´s behavior to an inability to face the facts. They believe that Visa has reached the denial stage of his grieving process.
The stigma of a dying man is hard to shake off. It seems to determine the way in which everyone, including Hanna, relates to Visa. Harri, eager to see Riia available, urges Visa to live out his feelings for Hanna, but is Hanna willing to love a man who is not dying but only mortal?
One Foot Under is a tear-infused romantic comedy of the limited nature of our temporal dimension.