Finland

Aki Kaurismäki – Kauas pilvet karkaavat AKA Drifting Clouds (1996)

Synopsis:
A married couple struggles with the repercussions of unexpected unemployment in this wry comedy drama from Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki. Ilona, the wife, works as restaurant hostess and her husband Lauri drives a tram. Though the couple has recently lost a child, they both seem at peace and happy. One night Ilona comes home and finds that Lauri has purchased a beautiful television on credit. Shortly thereafter disaster strikes when Ilona’s workplace closes and Lauri gets caught in a maelstrom of downsizing. Neither is able to find suitable work right away and as time crawls by, they become humiliated and testy with each other. Read More »

Rauni Mollberg – Tuntematon sotilas aka The Unknown Soldier (1985)

Mollberg’s chef d’oeuvre is this remarkable three-hours-plus adaptation of Väino Linna’s The Unknown Soldier, a monumental best-selling novel that has been called the Finnish equivalent of Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front or Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead. An earlier screen version, directed by Edvin Laine and released in 1955, is considered one of the great classics of the Finnish cinema, and was for decades the most commercially successful Finnish film ever made; Mollberg’s version, co- scripted by novelist Linna himself, was twice as expensive as any Finnish feature before it, and was a major critical and commercial success in Finland and elsewhere in Scandinavia. Read More »

Mikko Niskanen – Kahdeksan surmanluotia AKA Eight Deadly Shots [episodes 1–4] (1972)

IMDB Plot Summary
Small-farmer Pasi shoots four policemen who have come to arrest him for raged drunkenness. Rest of the movie is a long flashback examining the events that finally leads to the tragic shooting. As time goes by, Pasi sinks gradually deeper and deeper into the poverty, gets into trouble with both police and tax officials while family arguments grow more and more serious. Based on a true story. Read More »

Eero Sinikannel – Talvisota (1939-1940) AKA Winter War (1939-1940) (1988)

This is a documentary about the Finnish-Soviet Winter War (Talvisota) of 1939-1940. It contains rare and never before seen footage from the official film archives (Sota-arkisto) of the Finnish army. Read More »

Åke Lindman & Sakari Kirjavainen – Tali-Ihantala 1944 AKA 1944: The Final Defence (2007)

The Soviet army breaks through the Finnish defences on the Karelian Isthmus in June 1944, advancing with overwhelming force. Somehow, the Finnish troops must find the strength to fight back, with all odds against them. The Battle of Tali-Ihantala was the largest battle ever fought in the history of the Nordic countries. This film depicts the true events through five separate stories. Read More »

Matti Kassila – Punainen viiva AKA The Red Line (1959)

Synopsis of the film from MUBI:
In 1906, a poor farmer in the backwoods of Finland struggles to make a living for his wife and four children. He hears about a new law that will allow equal voting rights to all citizens. He attends a Socialist meeting and starts believing that everything will get better after the upcoming election. Read More »

Orvo Saarikivi – Hätävara AKA The Stopgap (1939)

Synopsis
Vappu Kankare – a fiery redhead and priest’s daughter – first competes with, irritates and then admires the ambitious co-habitant, Jalmar “Jali” Kinnu. After the studies, Vappu and Jali get married, but the marriage is disappointing. Not one to be easily put in her place, Vappu takes action. Read More »