The Unknown Soldier (Tuntematon Sotilas)

Hei, hei :)

Two days go I was honored to see a movie "Tuntematon Sotilas", which is one of the most successful movie ever in Finland.  The new version was made for Finland´s 100th anniversary. The Unknown Soldier is an upcoming World War II drama set in Finland. It’s a story of a platoon of ordinary Finnish men in the battlefield between Finland and the Soviet Union during the Continuation War. The Unknown Soldier by AKU LOUHIMIES is the story of an infantry unit’s tour of duty that lasts for more than three years during the Finnish Continuation War. The film is based on the classic novel by VÄINÖ LINNA. The film is the story of Rokka, Kariluoto, Koskela, Hietanen, and their brothers-in-arms. It shows how friendship, humour, and the will to live unite these men on their way there and back. The war changes the lives of each of the soldiers as well as the lives of those on the home front, and also leaves its mark on the entire nation. More information

Therefore for me this cinema visit was quite challenging for three main reasons. Firstly, I am not a huge war movie fan. Secondly, the movie was only in Finnish (and as you all know, I understand some Finnish, but not everything). Thirdly, the movie is three hours long (and I can sit still max. two hours) :D However, my fiance truly wished to watched it, and for me it was a great opportunity to get to know more about Finnish history. Moreover, I am truly grateful that we had a chance to watch it from the VIP room, which had extra - wide seats. When answering to a question: what do I think about the movie? (from a foreigner´s point of view) I can say it was well done. It was interesting to watch it, even though I did not understand fully all the conversations/dialogues. The actors were truly talented and well chosen. Each of these characters grappled differently with the concept of war. And it greated great respect towards Finnish soldiers, who did everything these days to protect their country. It embraces the harsh realities of war—gritty and realistic, yet an unpolitical and humane account. The story about a diverse group of men, all at odds with how they see themselves, each other, and the common cause. Warm humour, camaraderie, and basic survival instincts are requisite for them to retain their humanity on the challenging journey to Russia and back again. Moreover, it was inspiring to make paralleels about Finland now and then. It´s amazing, all the changes what have happened towards sustainable country. Therefore, after two hours of watching it I truly felt that now it is time to sum it up. It was just too long... (but it is just my personal problem:)) 

Aku Louhimies, who is a director, writer, producer has said: 

I hope that this film unites generations and helps people find new perspectives on where we Finns have come from. It is a great honor to make this kind of film for Finland’s 100th anniversary.”

For uniting the generations and supporting integration it would be lovely to be able to watch The Unknown Soldier also with english subtitles, or the cinema could provide headphones that have the translation, OR it would be great to have one movie screening with english subtitles/or in English.  Then more forigners could watch the movie and understand more about Finnish history, and meanwhile also deepen their Finnish language skills. It´s just a thought :) Therefore, I truly recommend you to watch it. Just be ready for an emotional roller-coaster :)

Have a lovely week :)

With piece,