Toivo's blood is exceptionally powerful. When the Finnish ski team hears about Toivo, they understand they have found a highly prized secret weapon. His blood can improve any athlete's performance, fueling the skiers to success. The prospects are fantastic, and in particular, Toivo works closely with one of the most talented of the skiers, Aino. It is the 1980s. Toivo is an unemployed typesetter. His wife Pirkko encourages him to do something useful, so he goes to donate blood. The blood astonishes the hospital nurse who assists him. The Finnish national ski team then discovers the special qualities of Toivo blood, and soon Toivo joins the team's technical division to take up his secret role as a human blood-tank. Finland's brightest star is making a breakthrough: Aino. A young woman, Aino is not only a good skier but an impressive public brand, with the nickname Finnmaiden. Soon, Toivo and Aino become an integral pair. With Toivo's help, Aino skis to the top of the world rankings. ...
Former sprinter and world record holder, who was disqualified for testing positive for doping, Ben Johnson and the former head of Finnish anti-doping committee Timo Seppälä play taxi drivers in the film. See more »
Try to seduce me
Written by Alfi Kabiljo
Produced by Aleksandar Valencic
Performed by Sabrina Hebiri See more »
Great Film about Doping
A PATRIOTIC MAN has an inspired concept: a man with a special blood type is used as a human doping device for the athletes on his national ski team. Director Arto Halonen has made the most of this darkly comic subject, and captures a surprisingly broad and powerful range of emotions, excitement and humor. In a sly parody of a Christ story, the main character gives his blood to bring false glory to the skiers and coaches who use him. The actor playing the lead role gives a wonderful, detailed performance, and the actress playing the woman skier who relies most deeply on his blood provides an equally memorable turn. Throughout the film, Halonen's directorial method is clean and unblinking, with a distinctive style of clear-eyed black humor that manages to be both very funny and very emotional without ever turning saccharine. I know not everybody can see the skill and art that goes into a style like this, which never calls attention to itself, but Halonen's steady, classical technique is relentless in exploring the characters and bringing out the flavor of the story. This kind of directing is, in many ways, much harder than flashier styles, and makes the film more complex and multi-sided than pushier approaches. The screenplay, by Halonen and Jouni Kemppainen, is a marvel. It gathers together a huge cast of characters in a complicated series of athletic and personal events, yet always maintains a straightforward drive and intelligence. The dialogue from start to finish is wonderful: smart, funny, incisive. Overall, the film is very different from anything else out there, and is definitely worth seeking out. Like any movie that has its own style and tone, it gets bigger in your mind when you get away from it and look back on it later. Here's hoping that more of Halonen's films get shown in America in the future, and that he writes more screenplays with Kemppainen.
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