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Director Pirjo Honkasalo Wins More Acclaim

The Finnish documentary "The Three Rooms of Melancholia" has won the main prize at the prestigious Prix Italia festival in Milan. The documentary by Pirjo Honkasalo has won a clutch of awards at international film festivals since it was released last year.

"The Three Rooms of Melancholia" explores the far-reaching consequences of the Chechen war and particularly how it affects children.

It is divided into three episodes. The first segment is set on Kronstadt, a desolate island near St. Petersburg, where young boys are sent to military school.

Honkasalo then looks at the war-torn and ruined Chechen capital, Groznyi. In this middle section, she focusses on a sick and traumatised woman, who is forced to give up her children to an orphanage.

The third and final part examines conditions among refugee children in camps in Chechnya's neighbour Ingushetia.

The jury of the Prix Italia praised Honkasalo's choice of subject and its implementation for its boldness.

The Prix Italia is the oldest and most prestigious International Radio, Television and Web competition.

It awards prizes for quality productions in the fields of drama (single plays and serials), documentaries (culture and current affairs), the performing arts (television) and music (radio).

"The Three Rooms of Melancholia" has reaped several prestigious awards, including the main prize at the Copenhagen CPH:DOX festival, Amnesty International's Doen Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, the Grand Prix at the Zagreb Dox festival as well as the FIPRESCI award at the Thessaloniki film festival.

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