FINLANDIA FOUNDATION SEATTLE CHAPTER “FILMS FROM FINLAND” 2019

FFSC presents Finnish films at the Swedish Cultural Center (1920 Dexter Ave. N. Seattle) on the fourth Wednesday of each month (except June, July and August) at 7:30 pm and on the following Friday at 2:00 pm.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the start of the Winter War – the first in a series of wars in Finland during what was globally known as World War II. To commemorate this important event in Finnish history, three films will be shown in the fall run-up to the November 30 date the War began in 1939.

January 23/25 Hymyilevä mies (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki), 2016, 89 minutes, K -7.
Unquestionably one of the finest Finnish films of the last decade, this true-life story of a Finnish boxer preparing for a featherweight world championship fight while pursuing the woman he loves is beautifully realized by director Juho Kuosmanen. Winner of eight Jussi awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

February 27/March 1 Iris, 2011, 81 minutes, K-7.
Iris is an eight-year-old from Stockholm who finds herself required to spend a summer on the Åland Islands. The adjustment from a colorful city life with her artist mother to a bucolic insular existence with her maritime uncle is the stuff of this charming and splendidly photographed film. In Swedish with English-subtitles.

March 27/29 Äkkilähtö (Off the Map), 2016, 95 minutes, K-12
Part road movie, part chase movie, part fish-out-of-water movie, part romantic comedy, this film is ultimately about how it is possible to find happiness through connections with others met in unexpected ways. Sympathetically directed by Tiina Lymi, who clearly has affection for her characters, whatever their foibles.

April 24/26 Toivon tuolla puolen (The Other Side of Hope), 2017, 100 minutes, K-12.
Director Aki Kaurismäki follows up his much- honored Le Havre with another acclaimed film about the plight of refugees, but the scene shifts from France to Finland, where a displaced Syrian encounters a largely hostile-to- indifferent environment. There is kindness, too, from a chance encounter with an empathetic Finnish man.

May 22/24 Ihmiset suviyössä (People in the Summer Night), 1948, 63 minutes, K-7.
This film version of Nobel laureate F. E. Sillanpaa’s classic novel explores the sometimes tender, sometimes violent relationships in a rural Finnish village on a single summer’s night.  Directed by the legendary Valentin Vaala in glorious black and white cinematography that contributes to a dreamlike, poetic quality.

June, July and August Contact the Swedish Club for summer film programming at swedishclubnw.org.

September 25/27 Talvisota  (The Winter War), 1999, 191 minutes, K-11
This classic film, released on the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Winter War, is hailed as one of the most realistic depictions of war ever created.  With Antti Tuuri’s script from his novel of the same name, director Pekka Parikka has created an epic that is, at the same time, personal and human.   

October 23/25 Sota ja mielenrauha (War and Peace of Mind), 2016, 72 minutes, K-12.
Using archival footage, letters from the front and recent interviews, this documentary explores the prolonged psychological effects of Finland’s wars on individuals and the nation. Director Ari Matikainen also skillfully puts those wars in the broader worldwide context of World War II.

November 27/December 6   Pikkusisar (Little Nurse), 1999, 104 minutes, K 11.
A young woman who has lost her husband in the Winter War becomes a nurse to victims of the Continuation War in this underappreciated film.  Seen largely from the perspective of the main character, war becomes primarily a struggle to deal with loss and to respond to new opportunities for love.

December   No film owing to the Christmas holiday.