Hella Wuolijoki was a classic Finnish play-writer, and this is a movie from one of her works, Heta From Niskavuori, a part of five-part Niskavuori-series. I haven't read the series nor seen other Niskavuori movies so this was an interesting journey to this theme.
The play was published in 1950. Niskavuori, the connecting factor of the plays, is a wealthy farmhouse in Hauho, near Tampere. It's 1898 and Juhani's sister Heta, daughter of Niskavuori, is going to marry a poor servant, Akusti. She is feeling ill in the middle of the ceremony. She is pregnant and that's the reason, she exposes, for marrying this servant.
Heta is a powerful lady who's going to be the head her new house no matter of what. Akusti is a nice man who will love Heta and all their children - also those who aren't really theirs. It takes a long time before Heta realizes how good man she has married. However, local society seems to appreciate Akusti, his work and person.
The movie won three Finnish Oscars (Jussi prizes), one from directing (Edvin Laine), one from best actress (Rauni Luoma) and one from best actor (Kaarlo Halttunen). Laine clearly knew how to describe work in it's purest form and the movie is clearly a salute to all men (and women) that have done their best building their life conditions. Especially I liked the performance of Kaarlo Halttunen, an actor who really handled the grass-root characters well. Akusti is a very lovable person.
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