FINLANDIA FOUNDATION SEATTLE CHAPTER “FILMS FROM FINLAND” 2018
FFSC presents Finnish films at the Swedish Cultural Center (1920 Dexter Ave. N. Seattle) on the fourth Wednesday of each month (except July and August) at 7:30 pm and on the following Friday at 2:00 pm.
In 2018 special theme: A Retrospective of Favorite Finnish Films for the 50th Anniversary of the Seattle Chapter
January 24/26 Raja 1918 (The Border), 2007, 110 minutes, K-15.
During this centenary of the end of the Finnish Civil War, this film is a painful reminder of the aftermath of that conflict, as a young White officer is sent to eastern Finland to enforce the border with Russia. There he experiences the collision point of duty and decency.
February 28/March 2 Kovasikajuttu (The Punk Syndrome), 2012, 85 minutes, S.
There have been many documentaries made about rock musicians, but this one lays claim to true uniqueness. It follows the highs and lows of the hard-core band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät, the members of which are all developmentally delayed but fully developed characters in this oddly inspiring film. Among other awards, a Best Documentary Jussi.
March 28/30 Eläville ja kuoleille (For the Living and the Dead), 2005, 100 minutes, K-11.
This underrated family drama, based on a true story, explores the aftermath of the accidental death of a son on the survivors – father, mother and brother. Hannu-Pekka Björklund won a well-deserved Jussi for his portrayal of the grief-stricken father who cannot get beyond blaming himself. Jarmo Lampela directed with sensitivity and understanding.
April 25/27 Näkymätön Elina (Elina: As If I Weren’t There), 2003, 77 minutes,
Klaus Härö, whose Äideistä parhain (Mother of Mine) and Miekkailija (The Fencer) have been such favorites with audiences in Seattle and elsewhere, directed this early film about a ten-year-old girl who takes up the cause of Finnish-speaking school children against a cruel teacher in northern Sweden in the 1950s.
May 23/25 Miesten vuoro (Steam of Life), 2010, 81 minutes, K-3.
The English-language title of this Jussi award-winning documentary scarcely does justice to its profound content. The Finnish title tells us that this is the “men’s turn” to tell their stories, and that they do in the familiar confines of a variety of saunas. A brilliant idea executed with great skill and obvious respect for the storytellers. See it again and again and discover new truths.
June 27/29 Kaus pilvet karkaavat (Drifting Clouds), 1996, 93 minutes, S
The first and, in many respects, the most optimistic of Aki Kaurismäki’s trilogy about being down-and-out in Finland, In this case, the protagonists are a couple who lose their jobs in the recession of the early 1990s, but discover some patches of blue behind those drifting clouds. Jussi awarded for Best Picture.
July and August Contact the Swedish club for summer film programing at swedishclubnw.org.
September 26/28 Eila, 2003, 90 minutes, K-7.
Based on a true story about a group of workers who sue the Finnish government when they lose their jobs, Eila focuses on one unemployed cleaning woman whose concern for her troubled son pushes her to courageous action. This tough-minded yet tender film garnered seven Jussi nominations and a win for Sari Mällinen in the title role.
October 24-26 Eedenistä pohjoiseen (Garden Lovers), 2014, 73 minutes, S.
This beautiful documentary suggests that Finnish gardens are often an expression of love for those with whom they are tended. Gentle and heartwarming, this Best Documentary of 2015 also demonstrates that the gardens are also a reflection of Finnish culture and character.
November 28/30 Tummien perhosten koti (The Home of Dark Butterflies), 2008, 108 minutes, K-11.
Dome Karukoski, one of Finland’s busiest and most-acclaimed directors, won a Best Director Jussi for this searing story of an island home for largely forgotten boys. Subjected to harsh and demeaning treatment by the superintendent, one of the boys insists on leaving the island and returning home, but his escape attempt has unforeseen consequences.
December 26/28 Joulutarina (Christmas Story), 2007, 96 minutes, K-7.
Not even the most Christmas-averse Scrooge could fail to be entranced by this sweet and engaging story about the origins of the Santa story in Finnish Lapland. The most-seen film in Finland when it was first released, it remains popular there during each holiday season. A treat for the entire family.