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Finnish Sisu article | 02.03.2023

SISU action movie from Finland

SISU action movie from Finland | Finnish Sisu
Image: Freepik

SISU is like a clenched fist and with teeth in a grin. It is stubborn defiance in the face of fate. SISU lights up when the last spark of hope has faded.

When an ex-soldier who discovers gold in the Lapland wilderness tries to take the loot into the city, Nazi soldiers led by a brutal SS officer battle him.

Finnish movie with a budget of six million euros, SISU is director Jalmari Helander´s passion project. The film premiered in Finland on Friday, January 27.

SISU movie synopsis

Deep in the wilderness of Lapland, Aatami Korpi (Jorma Tommila) is looking for gold. The occasional overflight of bombers and the distant sounds of war can be heard on clear autumn nights. Finally, the hard work is rewarded and the gold dust in Vaskoli grows into gold nuggets. Adam leaves to take his gold treasure to the nearest town. When a thirty-strong Nazi extermination squad led by SS Obersturmführer Bruno Helldorf (Aksel Hennie) turns against Atami, a breathtaking and gold-hungry chase begins through the destroyed and mined wilderness of Lapland.

SISU Official Trailer (2023)

Some Facts about the movie SISU

Made with a budget of six million euros, SISU pays homage to the action films of the 1980s and 1990s. It´s a shameless Nazi shooter, after which it´s clear to the viewer what the guts mean.

Inspired by Rambo

SISU director-writer Jalmari Helander was in elementary school when First Blood (1982) starring Sylvester Stallone, i.e. the first Rambo movie, came out.

In action and shooter films, Helander has always been interested in the possibility of redefining the world. If necessary, the laws of physics can also be manipulated to suit the conditions of the story. Inside, Aatami Korpi is sometimes in such a predicament that a little imagination is required to survive.

SISU is director´s childhood dream come true, which is reflected in the end result. He have been a huge fan of 1990s action movies and hoped that one day he could do something similar himself. Helander is so happy that SISU looks like he wanted it to.

SISU movie spreads under its own name

SISU had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2022. Critics liked what they saw and, according to director Helander, the audience received the movie with joy.

Some weeks later, SISU won several awards at the Sitges film festival in Spain, which focuses on fantasy and horror films. Helander won the award for best film, Jorma Tommila was awarded for best actor, Kjell Lagerroos for best cinematography and Juri Seppä and Tuomas Wäinölä for best music.

The most difficult thing, however, is the film´s access to exceptionally wide distribution in the United States. Lionsgate gives SISU one of the widest distributions that a Nordic film has achieved in the United States. The distribution of at least 500 screens is significant even in European terms.

And even with the name SISU, and not any funky name. Its name is also SISU in America. If the audience receives it as well as in Toronto, anything can happen, says Helander.

The main character has the damn tough name as possible

According to the director-writer, Aatami Korpi was the damn tough name he could come up with for the film´s main character.

The backstory of the fighter in Sisukka was never fully written. It is certain that Aatami Korpi lost his family and home in the winter war. He became bitter and began a revenge spree.

It was time to try to start over, find something else to do. Digging for gold was okay, because the main character didn´t need the company of people.

In the film, we see when Aatami Korvelle gets a fairy-tale stroke of luck. What follows is a hopeless misfortune when he runs into a Nazi patrol who is tipped off about the gold. The encounter leads to a long one-man war against the Nazis, but the motive is much more than the monetary value of the loot.

That fight is not only about gold, but about principle and that Aatami Korpi does not give a damn. He doesn´t like things being taken from him again. It´s a matter of principle, says movie director Helander.

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