Since my post on The Winter War I got to thinking about a couple of movies that are definitely worth watching on the subject of Finland’s fight against Communism and true independence in the 20th Century.
FYI: As is the case with finding QUALITY movies lately, both of these are foreign productions made out of the sphere of Hollyweird and are subtitled in English.
Set during the early days of World War 2. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Russia attacked Finland in November 1939. Finnish reservists leave their homes and go to war. The film focuses on two farmers from the municipality of Kauhava in the province of Pohjanmaa/Ostrobothnia, brothers Martti and Paavo Hakala, serving in a Finnish platoon. Released in 1989.
Unknown Soldier tells the largely-ignored story of The Continuation War, a massive conflict between Finland and the Soviet Union that lasted from 1941-1944.
Probably the most realistic depiction of WW2-era infantry combat ever filmed.
A film adaptation of Väinö Linna’s best selling novel The Unknown Soldier (1954) and the novel’s unedited manuscript version, Sotaromaani.
June, 1941: Trapped between two repressive regimes, Finland has little choice but to ally itself with Nazi Germany against its traditional foe, although it manages to remain a democracy throughout. Virtually unknown in the WW ll arena, a brutal war against Soviet occupation takes place in the Far North. As the men of a Finnish infantry unit march through the forests of Karelia to regain territory lost to Russia in the Winter War of 1939, each of them soon realizes the horror and pointlessness of war. Except for their officers, more concerned about medals and personal glory than the lives of their men. A diverse group of men, all at odds with how they see themselves, each other, and the common cause–yet they are strengthened by a growing bond of camaraderie to each other and their loved ones. After huge personal sacrifice and a prolonged trench war, the outcome is inevitable, ending with a ceasefire in September 1944.