Sunday, December 17, 2017

Swedish Premiere of The Unknown Soldier & Finland 100 Years of Independence


At first I was unsure if I should write a post about the Swedish premiere of The Unknown Soldier (original title Tuntematon Sotilas) because I guess not too many people would know about the movie outside of Finland. In Finland, however, the movie is very famous, well-received and loved across the country. One could say it has a bit of that national treasure status up here and some people watch it every Christmas as a tradition, I heard. The Unknown Soldier is one of those movies that has been re-made/remastered whatnot, up to 3 times now (years are 1955, 1985 and 2017) and each time it has been directed by a different person. The movie aka the 2017 one (duh!) had its premiere in Finland 27th October and in Sweden on the 6th December - the very same day Finland got its independence 100 years ago. Man, the feels are real. What a way for Sweden to celebrate little brother Finland!

The movie is of course about the years during 1941-44 when Finland fought Soviet Russia to keep their country's independence (since 1917) and what followed shortly after those years. I don't want to spoil the history for those who don't know it and want to see the movie. I would personally recommend The Unknown Soldier to those out there who has a knack for historical movies (especially war themed ones) and are interested in how war affects the human psyche and the everyday life of the soldier and those around him, like comrades at the field, friends, lovers, family and so on. If that just sounded like it was directed to you, then do yourself a favor and pick up any version of The Unknown Soldier and have a good time. Hope you like it.


I'm aware that the costume in this post might wear details/symbols that can be offensive or emotionally unpleasant to others. I, as a guy with his heart and morals in the right place, just want to make it clear that I DO NOT support, agree with, believe in or have any other connections to the ideologies/beliefs represented. Readers, please keep in mind that what I'm wearing is JUST A COSTUME and shouldn't be taken as anything more than that. Thank you.

Now back to the cinema premiere part of this post. As a guy who works at the local cinema in my hometown, I was of course working during both the showings of The Unknown Soldier. We showed the movie during the 6th and the 17th of December and as a big history nerd myself, I could -surprise, surprise- be seen selling cinema tickets in my fifty-fifty accurate WW2 German uniform during both showings. You're not getting past me without a ticket :DD

Photo taken during the 17th of December with my Samsung Galaxy's camera.

Photographer: Shiro Samurai

If someone is wondering or giving me the eyebrow right now, to why I'm wearing a German uniform during Finland's 100 years of independence, oh boy, let me tell you right away. It's a fact that Finland received plenty of help from Germany during those hard times, the opposite is also true. Heck, we wouldn't have our independence if it weren't for the Germans (and other nationalities) that fought against a common "enemy" by our side. As someone who has Finnish roots and who can also call Germany a second home of sorts, it felt really good to wear that uniform at the cinema (for the right reasons) and give the Germans the respect, recognition and admiration that they so rightfully deserved back then. Finland will remember their Waffenbrüders with warmth. Oh and guess what? The costume idea was even appreciated by the cinema visitors. One customer on the second showing of The Unknown Soldier asked for a photo (yay!) and there was also this elderly man, who looked at me first for a couple of seconds and then said with a funny, half-serious voice "I guess there is no idea trying to get a cheaper ticket from you, eh?" to which I replied, with a comedic voice, of course "No way, not gonna work. It's the same price for everyone here ;)". As usual, I was happy that the costume idea was well-received on both showings and the Finns seems to know their history.

However, there was a few visitors who thought I had a Russian uniform at first, which made me go "People plz...! xD" and of course, I corrected them.

If someone is curious how I spent and made my 6th December 2017 memorable, I spent it with my mother, stepdad and Shiro Samurai where we visited the graves of the fallen (in one of the nearby churches) and ate good family dinner towards the evening. We also watched the Linnanjuhlat (yearly annual celebration of independence) on television. Sadly, I and Shiro Samurai only saw the very beginning of it, with the president greeting the war veterans, as we both had to leave for our cinema work soon afterwards. I watched The Unknown Soldier during its original premiere on the 6th December and I was moved by it. Beautifully haunting and realistic telling of what hell war actually is.

As someone who honors the course of history and what it has taught us, I want to end this special post with a message from my core to all of those who have fought for Finland's freedom and independence. Here goes:

"Kiitos kaikille maamme sotaveteraaneille, kaatuneille ja muiden maiden kansalaisille jotka ovat taisteleet Suomen vapauden puolesta. Sanani eivät riitä kuvailemaan kuinka kiitollinen olen että saan elää tätä elämää tässä vapaassa maassa. Ikuinen kunnia ja kiitollisuus kuuluu meidän sankareille jotka antoivat kaiken. Minä en tuu ikinä unohtamaan yksikään teistä, olitte mistä päin maailmaa kotoisin. Sieluni muistaa veljeni ja siskoni."

Here's the English translation for those who don't understand a lick of Finnish:

"Thank you to all of the country's war veterans, fallen ones and soldiers from other nations, who have fought for Finland's independence and freedom. My words aren't enough to describe how thankful I am to be able to live this life in an independent country. Eternal honor and gratefulness belongs to our heroes who gave their everything. I will never forget any of you, no matter where your home is. My soul will remember my fellow brothers and sisters."

Written by myself, Alexis, on the 6th of December 2017. I command you to not steal, copy or use the message above in any other shape or form outside of this blog, without my permission. Thank you.

I was supposed to post this already on the 6th December but then I got occupied with other posts (that I promised to post earlier) and stuff, so this one ended up being a little bit postponed until well, today. Not too shabby, knowing that we showed the second showing of The Unknown Soldier this day which is of great importance for Finland's independence and culture.

Onneks olkoon Suomi 100 vuotta! Happy Birthday Finland 100 years! 

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