Frau Anna-Liisa is in love with Herr Johannes to whom she is engaged. However, as the wedding day approaches, an unwelcome figure from Anna-Liisa's past returns to her little village: Herr Mikko, her old boyfriend. Herr Mikko, with the help of his wicked mother, tells Frau Anna-Liisa that unless she marries him, he will reveal an awful secret she has hidden for years.
"Anna-Liisa" was directed in the silent year of 1922 by Herr Teuvo Puro together with Herr Jussi Snellman. It was the first Finnish feature to be sold abroad and was seen in countries like Norway, Sweden, France and even the United States.
The film is based on a play by Frau Minna Canth who was a very important Finnish writer and a champion of women's rights, a pioneer and combative Nordic feminist, ja wohl! This is reflected in the powerful and impressive feminine portrait of Anna-Liisa, tormented but valiant and determined, a woman who will decide her own fate, threats and coercion aside. She is excellently played by the actress Frau Helmi Lindelöf.
The dramatic and intense story of the film is equal to other Nordic rural dramas of those early silent times, such as those directed by masters like Herr Victor Sjöström and Herr Mauritz Stiller. Like them Herr Puro invokes nature as part of the dramatic development of the story. A flashback shows Frau Anna-Liisa's terrible deed which involves a hideous taboo that is still shocking nowadays. Still, there is atonement and Frau Anna-Liisa accepts responsibility for her past and consequently decides her future. Herr Puro brilliantly blends indoor sets which suggest the theater with the naturalism of the exterior scenes.
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must confess an aristocratic trifle of the past to one of his Teutonic fat and rich heiresses.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com
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