11 user 21 critic

Leijonasydän (2013)

Neo-Nazi falls in love with a woman who has a black son and finds himself fighting with conflicting feelings.


Dome Karukoski


Aleksi Bardy
6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Director: Teppo Airaksinen
Stars: Jussi Vatanen, Pamela Tola, Timo Lavikainen


Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Franzén ... Teppo Salminen
Laura Birn ... Sari
Jasper Pääkkönen ... Harri
Yusufa Sidibeh Yusufa Sidibeh ... Rhamadhani
Jussi Vatanen ... Kulmala
Timo Lavikainen ... Olli
Pamela Tola ... Tölli
Mikko Neuvonen Mikko Neuvonen ... Daniel
Niko Vakkuri Niko Vakkuri ... Reko
Jani Toivola Jani Toivola ... Salif
Stan Saanila Stan Saanila ... Aleksi Rämö
Juha Pursiainen Juha Pursiainen ... Isä
Esa Muittari Esa Muittari ... Isä
Janne Ravi Janne Ravi ... Rikas isä
Jarno Jäppinen Jarno Jäppinen ... Isä


Neo-Nazi falls in love with a woman who has a black son and finds himself fighting with conflicting feelings.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Will love conquer hatred? See more »


Drama | Romance


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Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official website


Finland | Sweden



Release Date:

18 October 2013 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Lejonhjärtat See more »

Filming Locations:

Kotka, Finland See more »


Box Office


€1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Itkisitkö onnesta
Written by Gösta Sundqvist
Performed by Peter Franzén
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User Reviews

Can love save us from an extremist ideology?
10 December 2016 | by losindiscretoscineSee all my reviews

Can love save us from an extremist ideology? That's the question addressed by "Heart of A Lion", four times nominated to the Jussi Awards (the Finnish equivalent of the BAFTA) in 2014. In addition to the actors' amazing performances (Peter Franzén is superb), the movie sensitively shows the trouble in having a normal life when we want to be an active representative to an ideology like nazism. Despite some tough moments and Dome Karukoski's accuracy to show how this extremely violent environment is, there is room for light in this Finnish movie. Little by little, Teppo finds his humanity and humbly realizes the limits of far-right ideologies that are indeed quite popular in Northern countries. Even though Finland is going to celebrate the first century of its independence, immigration is still rare and attachment to the roots and the national history are essential. Although the director says that "Heart of a Lion" could have been set anywhere, the story is the more legitimate and realist in Finland. This film sends us a beautiful moral: complicity, wiseness and reason can win against ignorance, exclusion and violence that, as shown by the movie, are synonyms of decay and degeneration instead of progress and growth. Full review on our blog Los Indiscretos : https://losindiscretos.org

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