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IMDB Rating: 6.8/10 from N/A votes
Release: 22 Jan 1999 /


Genre: Drama, War
Director: Olli Saarela,
Stars: ,
Synopsis: Set during the World War 2. In the summer of 1941 the Finnish army crosses the border of Russia. A platoon led by Lt. Eero Perkola goes through the wilderness around the Lieksa lake to ...

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Critic Reviews


I mainly agree with other writers here. Some explosions could have been better, some serious tactics planning would have helped and they could have left out the "look, we fight in slow motion with tragic soundtrack, isn't war just hell?" part. But altogether a good war movie. Beautiful photography, good acting, good actor directing, good screenplay, raises healthy questions of war etc.

I liked this one when I first saw it, although I was a bit disappointed. Few years earlier Director Olli Saarela made about hour long short movie called Lunastus, which is still in my top 50 (of the 15,000+ movies I've seen).


A Danish writer summarized couple years ago: "...and the Finns were heroic, after all (which they were, but was it worth the losses?)" Well, the Finns could not just surrender and wait for somebody else to free them.

I was born in 1969, and I'm happy and grateful that I've been able to live relatively free life, in an independent and a democratic government country. Finland went through three different wars during the World War II, and every time it was about staying independent.

The Soviets started the Winter War by attacking Finland. During those days the Allies, the British and the French offered to send troops, but this was canceled since the Swedish would not let those troops travel trough Swedish soil. After 105 days peace was met and _Finnish soil_ (meaning PART OF OUR COUNTRY!) was given to the bullies. People were driven from their homes. During the peace Soviet Union continued to make more demands. I am always amazed how our neighbors in Scandinavia seem to think Finland, a country of 3 and 1/2 million, was provoking here and attacking there to gain more land and power just because they were so greedy back then.


Finland was friendly with Germany, who had already helped the Republic during the Civil War of 1918. The Germans told the Finns of their plan to attack the Soviet Union. Finland and Germany signed a pact of war against the Soviet Union, who continued to make their demands trough the whole peacetime. Continuation war started in 1941, few days after Germany attacked Soviet Union. Finnish troops took back their land and some more, and then ceased advancing to hold lines which held until the major Soviet offensive of 1944. The Finns first retreated with speed, but after few weeks stopped the offensive, and destroyed few Soviet divisions again. Peace was met, but the Soviets demanded that the Finns had to turn against their comrades in arms, the Germans. The Lapland War ended when last Germans retreated to Norway just before the end of war in Europe.

Few sane points to keep in mind:

1. Without Soviet aggression there would not have been war in the first place.

2. Without the Soviet Union taking land and demanding for more the Finns would not have made pacts with Germany and advanced to Russia. Think about a part of your country where lives about 15% of your people, would you be very willing to let it just go?

3. Germany and Finland were friendly before Nazis, Germany helped Finland in Civil war of 1918. Finland relied to Nazi Germany as their only friend to help against the Soviet threat during the peace between the Winter and the Continuation War.

4. Finland did not help Germany against the Western Allies. Finland did not help Germany with the siege of Leningrad or with other German strategic goals.

5. For the Finns it was only about staying independent. That they achieved. Was it worth the victims? Well, yes, if the whole country including even the great majority of Finnish communists wants to stay independent and free and is determined to fight for it.

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