A Finnish war movie, set in early days of the Continuation War in 1941. Released 1999. Directed by Olli Saarela, based on novel "Elämä Isänmaalle" by Antti Tuuri. English title "Ambush".

The movie follows the movements of a single squad (lead by lieutenant Perkola, played by Peter Franzén) on a special reconnaissance mission to Russian Karelia. During this time, the convoy that was carrying Perkola's fiancee Kaarina (Irina Björklund) along with other auxiliary corps women and some wounded gets attacked by Soviet troops, and Perkola hears later that she's dead...

I think this movie is a proof that you can make a good war movie without a lot of explosions and gunfire. The only real battle scene is spared to the end of the movie. The rest of the movie is mostly suspense and fear - moving through enemy territory is probably not something fun for the whole family.

It ain't Tuntematon Sotilas, but a good movie nevertheless...

Some bits of personal memories: When they were shooting this movie, they got help from Kainuu Brigade, where I was at the time. Early one morning, when we were running around the barracks, a lot of people from the infantry companies came out, wearing old uniforms...

Also, I attended the premiere of the movie in Kuhmo. Understandably the guests included a lot of veterans...

DVD details: The DVD is a regionless (R0) PAL disc. Finnish 5.1 soundtrack, has subtitles in many languages (Finnish for hearing impaired, Swedish, English, German and French). Special features include selected parts from Jussi gala (the movie won 7 of these awards) and Franzén reading parts from the book. Note: It seems that in some places Pan & Scan just doesn't work. (for example, the stills displayed in the book reading part get messed up). Letterbox works fine, though.

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