Little known to most Americans, the Lapland War put Finland between the barrels and bombs of the Nazis and the Soviets at the end of World War II. This meticulously researched feature tells the tale of a brave midwife who voluntarily became a concentration camp nurse to get closer to a German soldier she desired. It’s a powerful love story, but also an enthralling lens into a forgotten era of history.
Is this film based on a true story?
The film is inspired by true elements, but we took some creative freedoms. To me as a filmmaker, the premise was very interesting and naturally the lead characters of the book. How much of the book is real and how much is fiction? I don’t know. However, it’s certain this happened and all the locations, camps, and the political themes are true history.
There must have been a lot of historical research. Was it challenging? Were you happy with the results?
I’m never happy with the films I make. It’s a pain to watch them, since I would change so many thing and details. It seems there is never enough time. I’m happy how the film was received, especially in Finland. It’s a very traumatic topic for us and it became the biggest dram hit in box-office ever.
I worked a year on the script non-stop, with lots of research and visiting Germany, Norway, Russia, and Finland. I must have also read 50 books about the history and the background of Lapland War and WWII.
What happened to the children of Finnish women and Nazi soldiers?
It was almost impossible for us to find people willing to talk about this topic. People in Finland are very shamed about this part of their history. I’m not quite sure why. I thought it was a very natural thing to fall in love during the war and a very human thing to do.
What is your next project?
I’m currently finishing a film called Flowers Of Evil. It’s a social commentary on Helsinki’s crime rate and young criminal gangs living in the suburbs.