March 28/30 Täällä pohjan tähden alla (Under the North Star), 2009, 181 minutes, K-13.
Based on Väinö Linna’s epic novel of the tumultuous period of Finnish history in the early 20th Century, this film limns the accelerating conflict between rural poor and landed gentry with the spread of socialism. The length of this film is more than justified by its content.
April 25/27 Princessa (Princess), 2010, 97 minutes, K-11.
Anna Lappalainen, a.k.a the Princess, spent more than 50 years of her life in mental institutions, yet managed to heal the community around her with her sense of humor and positiveness. Based on a true story.
May 23/25 Napapiirin sankarit (Lapland Odyssey), 2010, 92 minutes, K-11.
Janne, a man from Lapland, has made a career out of living on welfare. When his girlfriend, Inari, threatens to leave him, he embarks on an adventure to save his relationship. Part comedy and part road movie, this film showcases Lapland and the Finnish man’s soul.
June 27/29 Kahlekuningas (Handcuff King), 2002, 89 minutes, K-7.
Two boys in Tornio – one Finnish, the other Swedish – decide to try to emulate the feats of their hero, Harry Houdini. The world of boyhood imagination is juxtaposed against the harsh realities of in northern Finland in the 1970s. There is humor aplenty to offset the pain of growing up.
July and August. Contact the Swedish Cultural Center at www.swedishculturalcenter.org
September 26/28 Kiellety hedelmä (Forbidden Fruit), 2009, 98 minutes, K-11.
A teenage girl from a rural Laestadian community decides to break out and test her freedom
in Helsinki. Another girl is sent to look out for her. The results may run counter to viewer expectations. Directed by Dome Karukoski from a script by Aleksi Bardy.
October 24-26 Kohtaamisa (Heatbeats), 2010, 86 minutes, K-7.
Honored with six Jussi nominations, this film about the intersecting lives of a variety of women in the ”new” Finland, deftly deals with issues of aging, generational division, racism, reconciliation and friendship. Excellent performances. Definitely not for women only.
November 28/30 Tuntematon emäntä The Unknown Woman), 2011, 79 minutes, K-13.
With 75 per cent of the farm work force on the front during the Winter and Continuation Wars, much of the labor had to be performed by women. This documentary salute to those heroic women comes just before the annual celebration of Finnish independence.
December 26/28 Myrsky (Stormheart), 2008, 96 minutes, K-7. During the autumn of 1989 in East Berlin, the father of a Finnish family, visiting the crumbling Berlin Wall, rescues a cute puppy and takes him home. Soon enough, the little puppy grows into a giant, who does whatever it takes to protect his loved ones. Good holiday fare for the family.