Nordic Film Festival 2013: Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart

by Mairéad Roche on 10/12/2013

finnish blood

Documentary Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart centres around musician Kai Latvalehto; a member of a successful Finnish rock band who goes from Finland on a road trip with his father Tauno to return to where they had lived in Sweden when Kai was a boy.

Film maker Mika Ronkainen utilises the recognisable mundanity that occurs during such a trip, the phone calls home to Kai’s young son Oiva and sharing remembered or mis-remembered stories between Kai and Tauno. The camera is often trained on the faces of Kai and Tauno as they drive along, as themes of family tension, immigration, alcoholism, love and forgiveness all arise between men attempting to find a connection between each other.

Kai, now in his 40s, at times comes across as the lost teenager he once was; first as an immigrant in Sweden and then in Finland forever changed by his Swedish childhood. There are musical interludes throughout the documentary all featuring Finnish songs dealing with the subject of Finnish emigration to Sweden in particular. Depending on taste, some of these performances are more welcome than others. Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart is quite unexpectedly moving as revelations and peace emerge as the result of the expedition.

Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart is showing at the Edinburgh Filmhouse and Glasgow Film Theatre tonight (10 December). Details here.

Mairéad has awarded Finnish Blood, Swedish Heart three Torches of Truth

3 torches cropped

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