26 January 2000 | ladyjane99
Family Saga At Its Best
The Finnish Niskavuori series is a family saga at its best and portrays some of the best actor and actress performances, but you could expect as much with one the best Finnish directors, Edwin Laine. It's a shame that movies like these do not get world-wide distribution, because they deserve it, but the language barrier is one very big obstacle. The powerful storytelling of the Niskavuori series was created by Hella Wuolijoki who portrayed the times, customs and people the way they were.
The Niskavuori family always had strong women and weak men, whether they were born into the family or married to it. The women were patient, wise and ran the business affairs being definitely the corner stone of the family, while men had affairs, drank or otherwise didn't prove to have the spine to keep the family together.
Aarne was one such male character. Instead of wanting to continue the tradition of running the family farm, he had an affair with a teacher, left his wife and moved to he city with the teacher. Anything like that was a scandal in those days. Later, of course, he returned back to the farm, which again was a manifestation of the strong attachment to land and tradition that Finnish people share.
Edwin Laine also directed a remake of the movie, I think it was in the 80's, which was just as good as the original. The drama preserved its originality and somehow didn't seem like "the old days," though the movie was of course still set in the same era.