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Juha (1999)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | May 2003 (USA)
A farmer's wife is seduced into running away from her stolid older husband by a city slicker, who enslaves her in a brothel.

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(novel), (scenario)
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2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Juha
... Marja
... Shemeikka
... Autonkuljettaja
... Shemeikan sisar
Ona Kamu ... Shemeikan nainen
... Shemeikan nainen
Tuire Tuomisto ... Shemeikan nainen
Tatjana Solovjova ... Tanssija (as Tatiana Soloviova)
Esko Nikkari ... Nimismies
Jaakko Talaskivi ... Henkivartija
Safka Pekkonen ... Tango-orkesterin jäsen
Sami Kuoppamäki ... Tango-orkesterin jäsen
Juuso Norlund ... Tango-orkesterin jäsen
Anssi Tikanmäki ... Tango-orkesterin jäsen
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Storyline

A farmer's wife is seduced into running away from her stolid older husband by a city slicker, who enslaves her in a brothel.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

May 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Юха  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

FIM 4,773,394 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dedicated to the memory of Jaakko Talaskivi. See more »

Connections

Featured in Matka suomalaiseen elokuvaan: Maaseudun lumoissa (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Temps de Cerises
Written by A. Renard, J.B. Clement, H. Valpola, Anssi Tikanmäki
Performed by Elina Salo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Images are more powerful than words...
9 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

Juha is the last silent film of the 20th century. And a truly great one, I might add. Adapting a Finnish literary classic (already brought to the screen three times), Scandinavian master Aki Kaurismäki (whose movies have always had limited dialogue, mind) tells a cruel, touching story of love, loss and revenge.

Weirdly for a Kaurismäki movie, Juha seems to open on a happy note: we witness the everyday life of the eponymous farmer (a never better Sakari Kuosmanen) and his wife Marja (the consistently astounding Kati Outinen). The two don't lead the easiest of lives, but somehow they manage to survive and keep an optimistic view on existence.

That's when Shemeikka (André Wilms, whose previous work with the director includes Bohemian Life and Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses) enters the game. He comes from the big city, and is forced to spend the night at Juha's because of a lousy car. The following morning he returns home, only this time he's got company: he has seduced Marja, promising her a better life. Sadly, she'll come to regret her choice as it turns out that Shemeikka actually runs a brothel. All she can do is hope her husband will forgive her and come to the rescue.

The audacious aspect of Juha is not the fact that it's shot in black and white (Kaurismäki does that quite often), but the fact that there's no sound at all. Dialogue is shown through title cards, and the rest of the action is left to the strength of the performances: Kuosmanen shows a staggering intensity as the leading man, Outinen is at her most vulnerable playing his wife, and Wilms is perhaps the best villain the Finnish director has ever come up with. Utterly cold and repulsive, he really makes sure you won't like him.

Juha works thanks to its honesty and raw power: it's not a pastiche of silent movies, but a serious, endearing tragedy, and further proof of Kaurismäki's high rank among Scandinavian film-makers.


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