50 years ago the rural farming population in Finland was fleeing poverty and moving to the cities, and to Sweden. At that time, Jörn Donner went around Finland – and indeed Sweden because that’s where the modern world started – asking people about their lives, their dreams, their ideas about progress, love and sex, about their country. Nowadays, this may be normal procedure, but back then the result was this completely captivating, free-floating Finnish classic.
Donner – novelist, filmmaker, politician, producer – went on to become one of the cultural icons and the only Finn to win an Academy Award (as producer of Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander). Given the frank and somewhat explicit nature of some scenes, it could only be screened in its original version 20 years later. "This film is the craziest thing we ever made", he admitted, "but if the film is crazy, it’s the Finnish people’s fault."