Films in the Midnight Sun

Films in the Midnight Sun


Since Aki and Mika Kaurismäki founded the Midnight Sun Film Festival in 1985, every summer film fans flock to the land 100 km north of the Artic Circle where the sun doesn’t set for several weeks.


SODANKYLÄ, a small and quiet town in Finnish Lapland, welcomed film lovers to the 23rd Midnight Sun Film Festival to spend five days of twenty four hours of an unforgettable film marathon.


From 11th to 15th June Finnish and international guests shared life and work experiences in morning discussions with festival director Peter von Bagh.


Finnish actor legend Lasse Pöysti was warmly received by the audience.

“Pöysti simply has always had a special ability to decode the heartbeat of Finnish mentality,” von Bagh expressed.


American actor Seymour Cassel is still bubbling with life after a long acting career started in 1959 with John Cassavetes’s improvisational film Shadows.


The director of 5 Oscars winner One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and 8 Oscars winner Amadeus, Miloš Forman, is seen by young film makers as an example of someone who walks a path of success despite having lived difficult times in his native Czekoslovakia.  

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a Czech film,” he said. The communist party was my big nurse. For you Americans it’s literature, for me it’s my life experience,  what you are allowed to say, what you are allowed to do what you are allowed to express, to think.”  


 “Be faithful to yourself and tell the truth without being boring,” is the message Forman gives to the new generations.

“School doesn’t teach you talent, opinion or vision but can inspire you. In school you have time to develop your own vision, you can do foolish things and many times you have to do a hundred foolish things before developing your own way.”


Andrei Konchalovsky reveals himself as a witty screenwriter and director who employs a simple but powerful language that enables the spectator to reach the idea of the film through consciousness as well as the heart.


He values contemplation as a way of developing good thinking.

“The cinema makes you think through images not through sound. Cinema can convey emotions through images. The most expensive thing in visual effect is human face, because is human face which transmits and transcend from the dead screen to the live heart of yours.”


Other guests included French Serge Bozon, Estonian Veiko Ounpuu and Swedish Ruben Östlund.

Finnish guests included the directors Mari Rantasila, Mikka Soini, Jouko Aaltonen and the actors Ria Katja, Kari Väänänen and Anni-Kristiina Juusto.


Directed by Yakov Protazanov’s, 1921 silent film Aelita based on the Soviet sci-fi novel by Aleksei Tolstoy on which the Finnish contemporary performance group Cleaning Women plays the score was a pearl this year.


For more information on films and guests see





About Susan Fourtané

As a citizen of the world, Susan began her search for her place in the world back at the beginning of the year 2000. After many travels looking for her place in the world, her soul found that place in Finland in September 2006. She has been living in Helsinki ever since, where she combines fiction and non-fiction writing with Philosophy studies and teaching.
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