Once Upon a Time in the North (2012)
"Härmä" (original title)

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On the West Coast on Finland in nineteenth-century Ostrobothnia. Esko is the leader of a local gang of troublemakers and an uneven battle ensues over the estate, honor a father's last wishes.


(as JP Siili)


(as JP Siili)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lauri Tilkanen ...
Mikko Leppilampi ...
Pamela Tola ...
Aku Hirviniemi ...
Eero Milonoff ...
Häjy Koskela
Esko Salminen ...
Lena Meriläinen ...
Taneli Mäkelä ...
Sakari Kantola
Olavi Uusivirta ...
Häjy Lehto
Pirkka-Pekka Petelius ...
Notaari Kustaa
Ali Ahovaara ...
Häjy Valtteri
Teemu Kettula ...
Häjy Vanhala
Toni Ikola ...
Häjy Hietanen
Pia Latomäki ...
Sylvi Kantola


On the West Coast on Finland in nineteenth-century Ostrobothnia. Esko is the leader of a local gang of troublemakers and an uneven battle ensues over the estate, honor a father's last wishes.

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Release Date:

17 February 2012 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Egyszer régen, Északon  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€1,670,000 (estimated)

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User Reviews

Fine period drama
16 April 2015 | by (Helsinki) – See all my reviews

Finland has often had something of a rebellious attitude against government and law, stemming from our history of being forced under one foreign king or another. Thus, when the so called puukkojunkkarit (literally knife rebels, though it's a loose translation) started fighting against common laws, causing general chaos, crashing social events and outright murdering people in the 19th century, they actually received respect for it. Sure, they were feared and people tried to stop them, but they gathered a lot of followers and admirers as well.

Härmä is a story about them, and about the people that suffered from their attitude. It doesn't really go too deep into the reasons why they saw fit to terrorize their local community, rather it paints them as outright villains, while still giving them a lot of charisma and pull. This is pretty much Finland's best answers to gangster films, and it's not bad at all. The actors are all talented, with special shout-out going to Mikko Leppilampi as Esko Välitalo, the leader of the rebels. The production values are all very high for our country and the whole film has a great feel to it. The atmosphere is also carefully build and you feel for these characters.

My only real problems are that the story pretty predictable and I would have liked to see the rebels given a bit more depth. Not it left the impressions that they rebel because some people are simply born evil, which is a touch childish. Nevertheless, those two things don't take away from the entertainment value at all.

Härmä is one of the better Finnish films I've seen and a fine movie to check out if you'd like to see a slightly different gangster-style movie or if you're into period dramas.

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