100-year-old Finland on-screen
The 100-year-old Finland has inspired many filmmakers. Travel through history, feel strong emotions, and witness various encounters in modern day Finland through centenary year’s feature film selection.
Focus on war history
The Unknown Soldier, the story, the characters, their experiences and suffering are part of Finland’s national legacy. Aku Louhimies’ interpretation of the Unknown Soldier is the third film adaptation of the classic novel by Väinö Linna, stemming from a need to reiterate the story to the younger generations in language and visuals that they can identify with. The film premieres on 27 October.
The Eternal Road is a film based on Antti Tuuri’s book Ikitie. It tells the story of Jussi Ketola, a union activist who has returned to Finland after years of working in America. He is abducted from his home in the middle of the night and transported to the eastern border. Ketola manages to escape from his abductors and runs across the border to the Soviet side. Together with American immigrants he takes part in building a worker’s paradise. Along with Stalin’s purges the paradise turns into a hell. The Eternal Road premiered on 15 September.
The Funniest Man in Finland is based on a true story. A group of Red Army prisoners of war awaiting execution during the Finnish Civil War, who in the hope of a retrial prepare a comedy for the entertainment of their guards and the commander of the German troops. In the middle of humiliation and suffering, there is suddenly hope, and shared laughter paves the way to shared understanding. Martti Suosalo stars as the funniest man in Finland, and the film is directed by Heikki Kujanpää.
From ice hockey craze to Tom of Finland
95 is a movie that takes place during the final weekend of the 1995 Ice Hockey World Championship Games in Helsinki and Stockholm. It tells the story of how Finland won its first ice hockey world championship, and how it affected the nation. The movie is directed by Aleksi Mäkelä and premieres on 25 December.
Aki Kaurismäki’s The Other Side of Hope puts two characters in the limelight: a Finnish salesman called Wikström, and Khaled, a Syrian refugee. The film, which was shot in Helsinki, is the second part of a trilogy that started with Kaurismäki’s Le Havre. Khaled is played by Sherwan Haji, and Wikström by Sakari Kuosmanen. The movie premiered on 3 February.
Thick Lashes of Lauri Mäntyvaara is a Finnish comedy, written and directed by Hannaleena Hauru. Lauri Mäntyvaara is a young hockey talent, whose career is threatened by the star-crossed love with Heidi. Heidi’s best friend Satu decides to protect the love by not only fighting against Lauri’s family, but also by saving the whole concept of romantic love from capitalism. The film premiered in August.
Dome Karukoski’s film Tom of Finland tells the story of Touko Laaksonen, and how his vision and art have changed our world. The film is a time travel story that takes the viewer from post-war Finland to the 1980s. When Laaksonen first began to draw men, he kept his illustrations in the drawer because homosexuality was still a criminal offence in Finland. Tom of Finland has served as a powerful global inspiration for big names of pop culture and fashion. It is a brand that celebrates every individual’s freedom and right to be one’s own self. The film premiered in February.