Following passages selectively translated from Risto Jarva Society’s website:
Risto Jarva was a central director in the Finnish New Wave. His career is one of the most extensive and important in the history of Finnish cinema, even though he died in a car accident at the age of 43.
Risto Jarva was a humanist and an engineer within one person. The focus of his work is on the human between society and nature. In his feature films and short documentaries he mapped dominant and alternative ways of life, without forgetting neither history nor the future. That’s why his movies are both subjective and objective evidence of the way Finland was in the years 1962-1977.
With Jarva the Finnish cinema found the colours of nature, young urban intellectuals, the worker, and a vision of the future. He searched for the possibility of love and companionship through play, humour and serious pondering. He studied the means of an individual surviving within the structures of capitalism and state bureaucracy. The topics of his movies are eternal: the tense relations between man and woman, individual and society, nature and technology – and how they can be solved.
The Diary of a Worker was Jarva’s breakthrough piece, “the first Finnish worker movie”, that started a fashion of tackling societal issues in films.
Welder Juhani marries Ritva, an office worker with a rightist background. The day-to-day married life turns out to suffer from housing problems, money problems and long times apart. After there’s a serious accident at Juhani’s workplace, he get’s upset and seeks solace from another woman. At the same time, lonely Ritva starts suspecting something.