Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice. The Winter War of Finland and Russia. / Talvisota: tuli ja jää! USA 2006. (c) 2005 MasterWork Media LLC. P+D+SC: Ben Strout. DP: Michael Bowie. M: Jamie Lawrence. ED: Kurt Poole. Dvd, 1,85:1, DD 5.1, 79 min. Russian and Finnish comments with English subtitles. Masterworks Media dvd, American release, received as a gift from my American relatives in St. Paul, Faye and Ken LeDoux. [There is also a Finnish dvd release: Karelia Klubi.] Viewed at home in Helsinki, 22 Feb 2009.

A many-sided documentary with modern Finnish-Russian war enactments, newsreel footage, interviews, quotes from vintage testimonies, some animation. American, Finnish, and Russian views make up a balanced picture of the amazing war. The author and poet Eeva Kilpi, a refugee from Karelian Hiitola, has a strong presence. So has John F. "Jack" Hasey, Volunteer, Iroquois Ambulance Corps. We see F.D. Roosevelt denouncing USSR on news footage. League of Nations banishes USSR. The Terijoki puppet government. Mannerheim's considerations. The interviewees include William Trotter (author, Frozen Hell), Gunnar Laatio (veteran, Mannerheim line), Major Mauno Uoti, Erkki Palosuo (veteran pilot), Aulikki Olsen (veteran, Lotta Svärd), Dr. Tomas Reis, Dr. Ohto Manninen, Inkeri Kilpinen, Minister Max Jakobson, Pasi Kesseli, Ermei Kanninen, Niilo Halkola (Suomussalmi veteran), Mauno Laaksonen, Lemmetty veteran; Anna Tukia, Lotta Svärd veteran; Tami Leinonen, Karelian refugee; Marko Seppänen, Suomussalmi, Raatteen Portti Museum; Raino Kurtti, Suomissalmi veteran; Mauno Uoti, Parola Tank Museum. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is examined. The German Blitzkrieg on Poland. The Finnish specials: the Molotov cocktail, the satchel charges, jamming a log into a tank's treads, the "motti" blocking tactic, snipers: "the white death". The feats of Taipale, Summa, Lahde, Tolvajärvi (the first victory). The sausage war. Suomussalmi, the Raate road. The meaning of Winter War not only for Finland which was not occupied but also for the Red Army which Stalin had to rebuild.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very good documentary, I've watched it several times. The Finns fought against incredible odds with little to no outside help yet they maintained their independence.