Playlist: based on true events

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Gran Turismo

Marketing Director Danny Moore travels to Japan to propose a very bold experiment to Nissan, one that could open the doors of motorsport to many skilled Gran Turismo video game talents. Nissan’s motorsport division decided to accept the offer and, in collaboration with PlayStation, establishes an annual GT Academy competition camp aimed at selecting the best amateur drivers to compete in professional series. Moore offers former top driver and current mechanic Jack Salter the opportunity to train these simulator players for the challenge.

Meanwhile, teenager Jann Mardenborough, who spends his days racing on the tracks of Gran Turismo video game, aspires to become a racing driver despite disapproval from his former footballer father. Jann is selected for a qualifying race with the prize being entry into the GT Academy. He faces many treacherous turns and demanding challenges before he can pursue his dream.

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Ompelijatar

The movie tells the story of how the life of a poor, semi-deaf woman leads to an inevitable conclusion in early independent Finland. She was arrested as a member of the Red Guard women’s company in 1918 and sentenced to a prison camp. Since then, she has been marked as “classified as dangerous to society.” In the 1920s, she was actively involved in leftist youth associations in Helsinki, led a literary committee, and writes for organization newsletters.

The state police have all the rights to intervene in radical activities; the unity of the nation must be ensured by any means necessary. In the early 1930s, communist activities are banned by law, and accordingly, paranoia increases. The State Police monitor and report on the lives of thousands of people. The distinction between treason and heroism becomes blurred.

Martta Koskinen never makes a fuss about herself, but she is reported several times. She meets Hertta Kuusinen in prison, which leads her to the circles of the intelligentsia. She works diligently as a seamstress, among others for the writer Hella Wuolijoki. She always helps her juniors to the best of her abilities and during the Continuation War, she assists conscientious objectors, compromising her own modest standard of living.

She becomes a messenger for the underground resistance movement, whose activities are almost non-existent, largely due to the mutual squabbling of a small circle. She hides a leading communist figure, Hertta Kuusinen’s fiancé, Yrjö Leino. When caught, she refuses to reveal anything.

Martta Koskinen is seen as a traitor, a spy, an enemy collaborator. To some, she is a prisoner of conscience, a dissident, a pacifist.

“The Seamstress” is a human rights story from 70 years ago and at the same time a story of young Finland.

Director:
Ville Suhonen

Starring:
Vera Kiiskinen
Laura Birn
Elena Leeve
Pekka Milonoff

The film was awarded the Best Documentary Film Jussi Award.

Note: Not available on DVD or Blu-ray distribution.

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Monsterimies

The only official documentary film about Lordi, the Finnish national hero, a creative monster genius, who with his band won Finland its first Eurovision title. For the first time in the film, we get behind the scenes, where the band’s frontman Mr. Lordi, Tomi from Rovaniemi, has experienced great success and acceptance from the masses following the victory. Two years later, Lordi has become a commercial brand, but Tomi suffers from a total collapse and is unable to create anew. The pressure to succeed is immense from both fans and the general public.

Will Tomi manage to keep his monster band together and find the joy of childish creation crucial for a new Lordi album amidst difficulties? The film exclusively follows the challenging everyday life of the popular monster band behind the curtains and presents unique, previously unseen archive material from the inception of the monster dream in Tomi’s childhood years.

Tomi swears eternal loyalty to 80s heavy metal and never intends to grow up. The film is about the fervor of creation and the courage to be exactly what one believes in, even if the 1980s heavy metal monster is no longer the trendiest thing in the world.

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Punk – tauti joka ei tapa

The overall tone of the film is as energetic as punk itself. The movie depicts youth, specifically two generations of youth from the 1970s-80s and the present-day punk scenes. We follow a band formed by four young people from the Tampere region, witnessing their journey through gigs, successes, and setbacks. The film features both old and new punk music, along with intriguing archival footage from the early days of punk veterans. “Punk – A Disease That Doesn’t Kill” is a compelling and engaging documentary about Finnish punk, entertaining yet not toothless or bland.

Director:
Jouko Aaltonen

Starring:
Andy McCoy
Severi Helle
Pelle Miljoona
Pantse Syrjä

Note: The documentary is no longer available on Blu-ray or DVD.

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Veljeni vartija

Veljeni vartija tells the story of Jare and Jere Tiihonen, twin boys from a broken family where violence is a learned norm from their father. Known as tough guys in their youth in Lahti, the brothers take different paths. Jare seeks street credibility and succeeds in the Finnish rap scene, creating an alter ego – Cheek. Jere ends up behind bars for assault and promises to end the cycle of violence. Jere settles down and starts a family. As Cheek’s popularity grows, Jare experiences a tearing conflict: should he remain the streetwise and selfish artist Cheek, or become the caring boyfriend spending safe, normal life with his beloved Noora. Jare’s inner turmoil eventually finds an explanation – bipolar disorder – and the solution lies in psychiatric medication. What does it take to break all expectations or curses and take control of one’s life?

Director:
JP Siili

Starring:
Antti Holma
Armi Toivanen
Saga Sarkola
Alina Tomnikov

The film won the Audience Choice Jussi Award.

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Käsky

Recently returned to Finland from training in Germany, young jäger Aaro Harjula witnesses cruel events. As an idealist, he believes that he can promote legality and the realization of justice through his actions, so he reluctantly sets out to take the red female prisoner, Miina Malini, to a court he believes in. Miina and Jäger Harjula find themselves on a journey to a deserted island. Their shared experience changes and deepens their relationship. “The Court Martial” is Harjula’s coming-of-age story. The world, divided into good and evil, right and wrong, gains more nuances. Harjula meets the reputable Emil Hallenberg and believes that this man will surely make a fair decision regarding Miina.

Director:
Aku Louhimies

Starring:
Pihla Viitala
Samuli Vauramo
Eero Aho

The film was awarded the Jussi Award for Best Cinematography.

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Ganes

Remu grows up in humble conditions. As a teenager, he drops out of school and becomes a criminal by profession. The fate of the family is unfolding, and the expected story is looming: prison, alcoholism, and a violent death. However, when Remu encounters rock music, he becomes inspired, especially when he realizes that even black people have succeeded with rock in America. Remu learns to play the drums and inserts himself into various bands. However, the bands are wary of Remu’s straightforward approach and fear his reputation. His first trip to prison interrupts his musical career. Upon his release, Remu forms his own band, which he names Hurriganes. With persistence, Remu styles and trains the band to top form. Through tenacity and even unconventional methods, Remu gets his band to work together, and their popularity begins to grow. However, before the final breakthrough, Remu must come to terms with the ghosts of his past.

Director:
JP Siili

Starring:
Eero Milonoff
Jussi Nikkilä
Olavi Uusivirta
Timo Tikka

The film won awards for Best Production Design and Best Costume Design at the Jussi Gala.

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Miracles from Heaven

The movie is based on a true story and follows Christy Beam, whose daughter Anna is diagnosed with a rare and serious digestive disorder. Christy fights desperately for her daughter’s healing and faces a crisis of faith. When Anna experiences an almost fatal event followed by a miraculous recovery, the family’s life takes incredible turns. The film explores the strong bond of family, hope, and miracles amidst adversity, offering a touching and uplifting story.

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Breakthrough

“Breakthrough” is a drama film released in 2019, based on a true story. Directed by Roxann Dawson, it stars Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, and Mike Colter.

The movie recounts the events following the near-tragic drowning of John Smith, a young boy from St. Louis. John fell through the ice of a local lake and was submerged for over 15 minutes. When he was finally rescued and taken to the hospital, he was without a heartbeat for over an hour. Doctors were preparing to inform the family of John’s passing, but after his mother’s fervent prayer, a miracle occurred: John’s heart began beating again.

“Breakthrough” follows the story of John and his family, their faith, despair, and ultimately hope. The film explores the significance of faith, community support, and the miracles that can happen amid adversity. It is a heartwarming tale deeply rooted in real events and human experiences.

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Paavo, a Life in Five Courses

Finnish farm boy Paavo Turtiainen is hired into the Parisian household of Swedish theatre producer Lars Schmidt and his wife, actress Ingrid Bergman. The couple “adopts” and trains Paavo to navigate among the rich and famous. Later on, Paavo becomes the personal secretary for Schmidt and Bergman. His responsibilities include building up the personal archives of both Schmidt and Bergman. Ms. Bergman’s archives are now at the film archives of Wesleyan University and Schmidt’s archives are in the United States Library of Congress. After Schmidt and Bergman divorce Paavo decides to settle permanently in New York. His first clients are friends of Schmidt: celebrities and business personalities Paavo has met while working in Paris and on Dannholmen, a Swedish island owned by Schmidt. Eventually, Paavo becomes an acclaimed chef and event planner for high society. Along the way, he has learned to stand on his own feet.