Auf Wiedersehen Finnland
Virpi Suutari / Finland / 2010 / 78 min.
Even if somebody denounces you because we left with them, don't hold it against us. I had no choice. This is what Finnish woman Kaisu wrote in a farewell letter in 1944. At the time, Finland had ended its alliance with fascist Germany, which began withdrawing its 200,000 troops from the country. Several hundred Finnish girls and women decided to leave the country with these soldiers. A tortuous journey awaited them, at the end of which they faced either an uncertain reception in a hostile Germany, or a difficult return to their homeland, where they were condemned for leaving with the Germans. Elma, Roosa, Terttu, Kaisu and Frans are survivors of those times, who tell their stories as though they are talking to themselves. They speak in front of a mirror, by a window or on a rowboat in the middle of a lake. The camera becomes their silent partner. In misty images of the wild Finnish countryside, and later war-torn Europe, Auf Wiedersehen Finnland embarks on a journey through their memories. Unfolding at a pleasingly slow pace, this formally brilliant film considers subjects such as forgiveness and coming to terms with the past.