The Fact Behind the Helsinki  Roccamatios

News flash!
...November 29th, on CBC at 8pm, watch the programme "Opening Night"...

When the movie starts, Paul ( Michael Mahonen) is still relatively healthy. Several years earlier, his family had been in a car accident in Haiti, where they were vacationing. Paul receives a blood transfusion, not knowing that it is with tainted blood. Now, as the story begins, Paul, at 19, must face that fact that he has AIDS. At first he is intrigued by all of the medical  tests he has to go through and is a willing participant; but as time wears on, and his health deteriorates, this looses interest for Paul.

Paul has a friend, ( Michael Riley), called the "Author" who narrates the movie. He and Paul have been friends for more than two years. Paul's condition is worsening, and his friend comes up with an idea to make the time pass while Paul is enduring his medical treatments.  Each day they will tell a story about the fictional family, the Roccamatios of Helsinki., and give information about a historical event that took place that day, as well. At first, Paul is charmed by the idea and  studies historical events to make his stories more interesting, lively and full of details. As his illness progresses  and his health declines , his mental attitude becomes very dark...and his stories even darker and hopelessly filled with visions of horrible deaths and war.

His friend (The Author) starts to question his own mortality, Paul's hopelessness and starts to rage at medicine, God and the world in general. His feelings of helplessness overcome him when he learns that Paul has become blind;  he flees Paul's hospital room racing through Toronto trying to find answers .

Towards the end, both come to terms with the illness, death and what life means to each of them. Then after Paul gives up all medical treatment, has become blind, his parents take him home for his twentieth birthday. In reality, Paul is sent home to die. His parents each work feverishly to make his last days as comfortable as possible. Even the family dog, George H ., is affected by Paul and his illness.  Paul's death is slow and painful to watch.

Paul embracing life, as he eventually embraced death.

Life was still good...

                                    THE FACTS BEHIND THE HELSINKI ROCCAMATIOS
                               ON OPENING NIGHT, NOVEMBER 29
 Michael Riley received a Gemini Award in the Best Actor category for his work in The Facts Behind The  Helsinki  Roccamatios, a groundbreaking approach making drama first seen in 1994. This encore presentation airs on CBC Television's OPENING NIGHT on Thursday, November 29 at 8 p.m. The drama deals with coming to terms with death when one of two young university friends gets AIDS. This  programme telecasts two days before World AID Day.

The cast includes Michael Riley (Power Play, 100 Days In The Jungle, Outer Limits) as the Author and Michael Mahonen (Star Trek: Voyager, Viper, Avonlea, An Intrigue of Manners) as Paul.

 Michael Riley Web Site
(The Author in this film)

MM Filmography