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Once Upon a Time in the North (2012)

Härmä (original title)
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.


Jukka-Pekka Siili (as JP Siili)


Jukka-Pekka Siili (as JP Siili)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Lauri Tilkanen ... Matti Välitalo
Mikko Leppilampi ... Esko Välitalo
Pamela Tola ... Aino Kantola
Aku Hirviniemi Aku Hirviniemi ... Kalle
Eero Milonoff ... Häjy Koskela
Esko Salminen ... Antti Välitalo
Lena Meriläinen Lena Meriläinen ... Maria Välitalo
Taneli Mäkelä Taneli Mäkelä ... Sakari Kantola
Olavi Uusivirta Olavi Uusivirta ... Häjy Lehto
Pirkka-Pekka Petelius ... Notaari Kustaa
Kari Hietalahti ... Vallesmanni
Ali Ahovaara Ali Ahovaara ... Häjy Valtteri
Teemu Kettula Teemu Kettula ... Häjy Vanhala
Toni Ikola Toni Ikola ... Häjy Hietanen
Pia Latomäki Pia Latomäki ... Sylvi Kantola
Learn more

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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.

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Drama | History

User Reviews

Fine period drama
16 April 2015 | by VartiainenSee 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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Official Sites:

Official site [Finland]





Release Date:

17 February 2012 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Egyszer régen, Északon See more »

Filming Locations:

Laihia, Finland See more »


Box Office


EUR1,670,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Yellow Film & TV See more »
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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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