Set during the World War 2. In the summer of 1941 the Finnish army crosses the border of Russia. A platoon led by Lt. Eero Perkola goes through the wilderness around the Lieksa lake to ...
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This film is the second silver screen adaption of the Finnish war book by Väinö Linna with the same name as the film. The story is based on Linna's experiences as an infantry man in the ... See full summary »
The Soviet army breaks through the Finnish defences on the Karelian Isthmus in June 1944, advancing with overwhelming force. Somehow, the Finnish troops must find the strength to fight back... See full summary »
Set during World War 2. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Russia attacked Finland in November 1939. Finnish reservists leave their homes and go to war. The film focuses ... See full summary »
It is the summer of 1941. An eastern-Finnish machine gun company receives an order to turn in their surplus equipment. The company is transferred to the front lines. The next morning the ... See full summary »
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Häjyt tells a story of two friends who have a hard time finding their place in the society. Antti and Jussi are released from jail. While they were doing time for bank robbery, the third ... See full summary »
When their bootlegging father ends up in jail, four twenty-something brothers need money to pay his debts to local crooks. Next, their 9-year-old half-sister is dumped on their doorstep by ... See full summary »
Bright young soldier Mertsi suffers a permanent brain injury in the Second World War. In the late 1940s he wanders around the Finnish countryside looking for simple work and relying on ... See full summary »
Uuno is called to serve the rest of his military service. His father-in-law, Director Tuura has been appointed as a defence minister but he hasn't got any interest to free Uuno from his ... See full summary »
A comedy about Janne, a man from Lapland in Northern Finland, a man who has made a career out of living on welfare. Inari, his girlfriend, is tired of Janne's incapability of getting a grip... See full summary »
Set during the World War 2. In the summer of 1941 the Finnish army crosses the border of Russia. A platoon led by Lt. Eero Perkola goes through the wilderness around the Lieksa lake to search for Russian defensive positions. The platoon kills some Russian civilians and rests in a newly conquered village. There Lt. Perkola meets his fiancée Kaarina, who is serving in the Women's Auxilary Corps (Lotta). Then the platoon continues with the mission, but a message about Kaarina's possible death reaches Lt. Perkola. The message causes Perkola to become distracted during the mission. Written by
"Rukajärven Tie" is set in the opening stages of the "Continuation War." In 1941, the Finns sought to take advantage of the German invasion of the Soviet Union to seize back--with interest--the territory the Soviets had captured from Finland in the Winter War of 1939-40. The main protagonist is Eero Perkola, a subaltern commanding a platoon of Finnish bicycle infantry which is participating in the invasion. Once in Russia, Perkola is surprised to run into his fiancée, Kaarina, whom he thought to be safe in Helsinki, but who has joined the women's auxiliaries. Perkola requests his battalion commander to transfer the auxiliaries away from the front. The battalion commander agrees, but asks Perkola to take on a special mission in return; Perkola's platoon is to reconnoitre forward of a gap in the Finnish lines to ensure the Soviets are not preparing to counter-attack in that sector.
This puts "Rukajärven Tie" into the "Lost Patrol" (as in the 1934 John ford film) category of war movies: a small unit making its way through hostile territory, harassed by groups of hostile fighters. Of course, this film is about Finns. It helps to have some knowledge of the historical situation to comprehend this film, but it's not vital. The soldiers do not see the war as some "crusade against godless communism," they're looking for payback, and while ideological differences within the unit are touched upon, the Russians (note: the Russians, not the Soviets) are clearly the common enemy, and the bitterness (in varying degrees) of the Finnish soldiers is clearly evident. War movies of this kind depend on suspense rather than spectacle, and this film has suspense in spades.
The soundtrack contributes to the highly evocative atmosphere in the movie, from the excellent musical score to the buzzing of mosquitoes whenever the action takes place near any body of water. Otherwise, this film is an anorak wargamer's delight, featuring weapons very rarely seen in war movies (such as an SVT-40 Tokarev rifle in the hands of a Russian sergeant, and several Lahti-Saloranta M26 light machineguns), bicycle-mounted infantry (ubiquitous in many early 20th-century armies, but rarely seen in movies), and displaying the highly informal nature of the Finnish armed forces (the only salute in the film is a mark of respect, not of regulations). Incongruously, the platoon behaves amateurishly on occasion, e.g. bunching up while exposed to possible enemy machinegun fire, etc. but this is a minor distraction.
This film has almost everything most people could ask for; sex, violence and though the plot is a little thin in places, there's lots of character development to make up for it. I loved it.
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