Washington, D.C. Premiere The Finnish national epic, Kalevala, forms the basis of this four-part film, set in the magnificent landscape of Finland. The national pride and sense of identity expressed in the traditional poetry of the Kalevala inspired Finnish independence, and also influenced the writings of J.R. Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Poet Paavo Haavikko has created a new interpretation of the ancient mythology in his screenplay, following the heroes as they look for women, wage war against the people of the North and, in the end, contemplate life, love and death. Directed by Kalle Holmberg. Produced by Reima Kekäläinen.
Parts 1 and 2 will be shown on Saturday, March 20.
PART 3: LEMMINKI (88 min.) Lemminki abducts Kyllikki, a high-born woman, from a distant market place and takes her to his house. He then heads for the North where The Mistress of the North sends him to the Tuonela River. There he meets death, but his mother saves him and brings him back in pieces. Kyllikki’s love brings him back to life.
PART 4: A LONG WINTER (PITKÄ TALVI) (64 min.) Väinö and Ilmari steal the Sampo (a magic mill to make money) from the people of the North, but are forced to sink it in the sea. When they return home their only spoils are a large bear carcass and a moose. After a long winter, the now old and grey Väinö states: “I have been afraid of three things in life: death, poverty and love. It was for nothing.” And Ilmari says: “I did not have a bad life. I have seen worse. It has taken all it gave. We are even.”
In Finnish with English subtitles. Contains some nudity and violence.
Introduced by Pekka Hako, Cultural Counselor, Embassy of Finland.