Synopsis: Taking place in the year 2012, the film is a fantasy of a “utopian” time when all class conflicts have been erased, at least superficially. A history researcher Raimo Lappalainen becomes obsessed by the life of nude model Saara Turunen, a woman who died in 1976, and tries to reconstruct it for TV, with help from an actress. At the same time a strike in a nuclear plant will lead to a violent upsurge, which media only manages to keep secret from public with a clever cover-up.
– Ruusujen aika (“A Time of Roses”, 1969) is a rare example of Finnish science fiction cinema. The others were Aurinkotuuli by Timo Linnasalo (1980), Mika Kaurismäki’s Mad Max variation The Last Border (1993) and Jari Halonen’s Lipton Cockton in the Shadows of Sodoma (late 1990s).
– Originally the film was supposed to be filmed in colour and Cinemascope format, but due to the financial and technical problems this didn’t happen.
– The script is influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo on which Peter von Bagh, one of the screenwriters, was writing his graduate thesis.
– The scene with the strike at a nuclear plant and the leader of strike (Kalle Holmberg) shot dead in front of TV cameras was filmed in the same day in August 1968 as Czechoslovakia was occupied by the Soviet Union troops.
– In the film, the future of the year 2012 has electronic newspapers. One of them, Uusi Suomi (ironically, in real life that newspaper went bankrupt in the 1980’s) has as its logo the upside down, split-in-the-middle “Y” symbol of the 1960’s peace movement!
– The most popular disco dance of 2012 — danced with sensual movements to the experimental electronic-sounding music — is called “pyllymylly” (free translation: “booty mill”).
– Erkki Kurenniemi, A Finnish tech whiz known for his ground-breaking electronic instruments and compositions, provided electronic sounds for this film.
– The use of mood-enhancing pills as means of maintaining the control of society is normal in the future of the film, made 25 years before the Prozac boom (though this idea can be found as early as 1930’s, with Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World).
– Pekka Streng, the late Finnish folk/psychedelia artist appears as one of the extras of this film.
– For international distribution, a 20 minutes shorter version was cut, with a special introductory sequence.
– Actress Ritva Vepsä received Silver Asteroid award for the film at The Trieste Festival Of Science Fiction Films in 1969, and the film also won Special Prize at the same festival.
– The director Risto Jarva died in a car accident in 1977. Saara, the obsession of the protagonist Raimo Lappalainen (Arto Tuominen), had similar fate, according to the film, only one year earlier, 1976.