The Holiday Taxis team love Scandinavian cinema! Watching foreign films offers an interesting and easily accessible insight into the culture of the country. The Finnish people are a nation of storytellers and their films tend to be artistic and deeply moving with intricately woven plotlines and rich characters. If you are new to the world of Finnish cinema and want to expand your horizons, here are some fantastic Finnish films to feast on.
The Unknown Soldier
This is one of the most celebrated Finnish films and was made in 1955. The Unknown Soldier was taken from a popular novel and by Vaino Linna and follows the exploits of inexperienced soldiers in World War II as they are pushed to the front line and have to attack the troops of the Soviet Union with little training to draw from.
Inspector Palmu’s Error
Step aside Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot because it is time to meet Inspector Palmu. This Finnish detective is called in to handle a delicate murder mystery when renowned tycoon is found dead in his bathtub and poses one of the most challenging mysteries in the crime genre; the legendary locked room mystery.
This film, which was released in 2005, focuses on the chain reaction that can be caused in society by one unpleasant event. When a school teacher loses his job, he punishes his son, who then uses counterfeit money to purchase a CD player. Before long events start to spiral out of control until it seems as though everyone who comes into contact with the father and son have their lives changed for the worse.
Mother of Mine
Like many Finnish films, the subject of Mother of Mine is World War II and it focuses on the eviction of Finnish children from their homes to be sent to live with strangers throughout the duration of the war. One of the things that makes this film so touching and realistic is that the writer has clearly drawn from personal experience and the film is given a further personal touch by focusing on the trauma experienced by the nine year old boy Eero.
The Match Factory Girl
Another major theme in Finnish films is the separation of the different classes and the difficulty in breaking through class boundaries. Due to her demanding and low paid job in the local match factory, Iris is forced to live with her parents and has no real social life to speak of. Her lifelong struggle ad limitations are brought into focus when Iris becomes pregnant by a man who misuses her and she decides to take revenge on the man and the society that forces her to life in squalor with no clear way to improve herself or create a better life for her soon to be born child.
Here, Beneath the North Star
In this 1968 film viewers are treated to a glimpse of the lives of people living in a small Finnish village before and during the Finnish civil war that took place back in 1918.