The Magnetic Man

The Magnetic Man is a film about people who have found strength in their own individuality, and acquired powerful means for personal development, through the songs of a virtually unknown Finnish musician Pekka Streng.

One of these people is the film’s director, Arto Halonen, for whom the production process is a journey of inner discovery. The people featured in the film listen to Streng’s music in a trance-like state in order to feel an association with the underlying significance of the pieces. They strive to create a connection between the music and their own process of personal development.

At the same time, those who were close to Streng tell the fascinating story of a media-shy, mystical musician who died of cancer as a young man. The Streng family decides to bring the songwriter’s memory back to life with the help of new studio technology, by publishing new songs derived from unreleased demo tapes.

The film is about a virtually unknown individual’s huge influence on his environment. It is also about how we all leave traces that can live on and affect others powerfully after we are gone.


The Magnetic Man in the press

Arto Halonen’s documentary film The Magnetic Man (Magneettimies, Art Films production 2009) is about the Finnish musician Pekka Streng and his influence on other people’s lives. The Magnetic Man opened in cinemas nationwide in Finland on 16th October 2009.

”Pekka Streng has been honoured with a great film. If anything, The Magnetic Man is a cultural achievement.”
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Helsingin Sanomat/Leena Virtanen (4 stars)

”Finland’s most internationally respected documentary director, Arto Halonen, has made his most personal film yet, and possibly his greatest. Finland’s most enigmatic troubadour has received a biopic that mirrors its subject.”
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Ilta-Sanomat & Yle TV1 Breakfast/Tarmo Poussu (4 stars)

”A personal, and therefore an honest film. There is a feeling of beautiful unashamedness. The director puts himself on the line and is emotionally present throughout.”
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Yle TV1 Breakfast/Anu Silfverberg (4 stars)

”Halonen’s excitement and reverence of his subject can be seen in the loving profundity of the documentary. As the film ends, I am left with a melancholic, deeply stunned feeling. A perception that even my life can be meaningful to others, if I use my time here correctly.”
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Sue/Markku Halme (4 stars)

”Halonen gives a lot of space to Streng’s own texts which, with actor Olavi Uusivirta’s narration, succeed in drawing the viewer into Streng’s lyrical and beautifully fragile poetic world.”
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Jouni Vikman/Episodi (4 stars)

” An impressive and interesting look into the life of a mysterious musician who died young.” 
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Tomi Saarinen/ (4 stars)

”The Magnetic Man can be considered a success in every way, rising to the level of its subject.  The Magnetic Man is also a very important piece for the chronicles of Finnish musical history.”
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Antti Tohka/Elitisti (4 stars)

”Halonen’s film is a fascinating and sophisticated documentary, which sheds light on the little-discussed life of an artistic genius with an intimate touch. The Magnetic Man probes its subject perceptively and with a genuine thirst for knowledge.”                                                                                                            
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Anton Vanha-Majamaa/ (4 stars)

”Arto Halonen has made a surprisingly beautiful documentary memoir of the deceased musician and composer Pekka Streng.” 
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Mikko Piela/Uusi Suomi (4 stars)

”A balanced documentary film.”                                                                                    
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Lauri Lehtinen/Suomen Kuvalehti (4 stars)

”New light is cast on an unknown chapter of Finnish rock music.”                                                     
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Johanna Siik/Katso & 7 päivää (4 stars)

” The work is bursting with passion and love, and is immersive viewing as a result.”                   
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Silja Nielsen/ (4 stars)

” The documentary comes to life through Streng's texts and fairy tale influences, given voice by actor Olavi Uusivirta.”
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Ari Tiippana/Länsi-Savo (4 stars)

"Images of nature colour the airy narrative, which takes flight as Streng's magical music and lyrics come to life. Everything in the film contains something much larger than life."
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsJarmo Valkola/Keskisuomalainen (4 stars)

”In its entirety, The Magnetic Man is worth its weight in gold as a cultural achievement.”
MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Jarkko Rotstén/ (4 stars)

MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Veli-Pekka Lehtonen/Helsingin Sanomat (4 stars)

MiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläsMiettiläs Tuuve Aro/ (4 stars)

”The Magnetic Man is stunning. What makes it stunning is the way two talented individuals from entirely different time periods meet each other. Arto Halonen’s style approaches the spirit of Pekka Streng’s songs perfectly.”
Kai Hirvasnoro/Kansan Uutiset

”The Magnetic Man is a cultural-historical achievement. It’s a well-rounded, multifaceted, and exceptionally spiritual film, which strengthens one's trust in the power of documentary film when it comes to perceiving the world and reality – not only as a reporting device – but also as an art form and a means for seeing and interpreting.”
Raimo Turunen/Karjalainen

"Streng’s exceptionally strong individuality and undebatable talent are brought forward wonderfully in the film through his music and texts, constantly taking the story in the right direction. After the credits stopped rolling, a blaring applause was heard in the cinema, during which the tears were being wiped away wherever you looked.”
Janne Kallio/Uusimaa