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 »
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 other people's help. A workmate, Ville, tells him about his clever Spitz dog back home and the problems with her overlong dew claws. Together with his helpful war buddy Eetvi, Mertsi joins a lumber camp in the middle of a freezing winter, tries hard but finds the work there too strenuous for his body and mind. While he still sees nightmares about the war, in the daytime he keeps dreaming and worrying about the dog... Written by
This film was showing at a local film festival. I knew nothing about it beforehand apart from that it was in Finnish, but went to see it because I have really enjoyed my three trips to the country. Without giving away too much of the plot, the basic theme was how bravery and serious injury can so easily be ignored once a war is over and how an ex-soldier who cannot manage any remotely-complicated task manages to get by and still live a fulfilling life, despite having been deserted by almost all his previous friends and girlfriend/fiancée (and, presumably, any family still living). I found it thought-provoking and very moving, with excellent photography of the Finnish forests in winter. The sound quality was very good too - even though I can only understand a few words of Finnish, I was impressed by the clarity of the actors' speech. I will certainly buy the DVD when it becomes available.
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