Vhs release: 1994 BTJ Kirjastopalvelu Oy.
The long journey from Jyväskylä to Moscow, from the National Romanticism of the turn of the century to Communism, from idealism to Realpolitik.
A three-part documentary series on the life and career of Otto Wille Kuusinen (1881‒1964). Kuusinen is the only Finn who has been buried into the Kremlin Wall. After the Civil War he was a co-founder of the Finnish Communist Party in Russian exile, and he was appointed Prime Minister of the Terijoki puppet government during the 1939 Winter War. Kuusinen advanced to a member and a secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and was also elected to the Presidium of the Central Committee.
Mies varjossa. Otto Wille Kuusinen 1: Kommunistin kuolema / [The Man in the Shadow. Otto Wille Kuusinen 1: The Death of a Communist]. Featuring: Riikka Kuusinen, Ludvig Musakka, Thomas Henriksson, Heikki Kuusinen, Friedrich Firsov, Ahti Liedes, Rudolf Sykiäinen, Klavdia Jegorova, Kaisa Wilen, Marina Amirakov. In archival footage: Otto Wille Kuusinen, Wilhelm Pieck. First telecast: 6.3.1994 Yle TV1 ‒ 57 min
Covering the years 1900‒1939.
Mies varjossa. Otto Wille Kuusinen 2: Suomen kansantasavallan presidentti / [The Man in the Shadow. Otto Wille Kuusinen 2: The President of the People's Republic of Finland]. Featuring: Juho Käiväräinen, Veikko Airola, Marina Amiragova, Jaakko Rugojev, Ortjo Stepanov, Vladimir Fjodorov, Jukka Petrov, Pekka Nikitin, Erkki Fredrikson, Salli Laakso / Salli Bergman, Urho Ruhanen, Anna Kipzize, Alli Airola, Martti Malmberg, Violet Kuusinen, Thomas Henriksson. In archival footage: Otto Wille Kuusinen, J. V. Stalin. First telecast: 13.3.1994 Yle TV1 ‒ 52 min
Covering the years 1939‒1957.
Mies varjossa: Otto Wille Kuusinen 3: Mikä on ei pysy / [The Man in the Shadow: Otto Wille Kuusinen 3: What Is Doesn't Remain]. Featuring: Erkki Fredrikson, Frederick Kagan, Klavdia Jegorova, Lyyli Ronkonen, Kaarina Ravio, Onerva Tainio, Grigori Arbatov, Kagan, Mirjam Suvanto, Helmi Karvinen, Anja Kuusinen, Kai Kuusinen, Violet Kuusinen, Fjodor Burlatski, Reijo Kalmakurki. In archival footage, fiction: Ivan Groznyi, Gelovani as Stalin in Klyatva; documentary: Otto Wille Kuusinen, Ville Pessi. First telecast: 20.3.1994 Yle TV2 ‒ 55 min
Covering the years 1881‒1964.
A digibeta from Yle Export viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (Peter von Bagh), 18 Sep 2013.
A documentary portrait essential to the history of Finland, the Soviet Union, Marxism, and the international socialist movement.
A true story more dramatic and terrible than fiction.
Peter von Bagh, Elina Katainen, and Iikka Vehkalahti manage to convey a portrait of utter contradictions.
From the national romanticism of the Belle Époque to the violent horrors of the Civil War. From a true blue social democrat of the early workers' movement to a founder of a Communist Party. From peaceful reconstruction to the Great Terror of Stalin. Most of his comrades executed, most of the Finns in the USSR purged, made into a puppet prime minister of a planned Soviet Finland. Surviving under Stalin, rescuing Andropov in the early 1940s, cultivating a contact with Khrushchev. Rising to the top under the Thaw. Discarding the concept of "the dictatorship of the proletariat" in the textbook The Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism. Consulting Khrushchev during the Cuban missile crisis. Kuusinen died in 1964, as did the Thaw, but after the reign of Brezhnev Andropov discovered Gorbachev.
Surviving the Terror, sacrificing those close to him.
The interviews of the contemporaries are invaluable. The mystery remains. OWK became the most despised man in Finland, but here we learn that OWK, too, knew it was the most shameful thing to become the would-be-Quisling of Soviet Finland.
A study in complexity, never watered down. A magnificent historical portrait would deserve to be much more widely known, in Finland and internationally.
Even rougher notes
PART 1 - ♪ Bellman's epistola 30 - The Red Square - Kuusinen speaks in 1962 - front page of Pravda - I: Riikka Kuusinen - I: Ludvig Musakka - poor country people - Nisula manor - renkitupa - 1900 to Helsinki - the oppressed started to organize - I: Thomas Henriksson - Hegel, Snellman - Wuolijoki, Gylling, Sirola - the Internationale into Finnish - W - K - G - 1905 - revolutionary romanticism - Sosialistinen Aikakauslehti - vice chairman of SDP, the Finnish Social Democratic Party - taught politics - journalist at Työmies newspaper - had a family to support - 1915 - I: Heikki Kuusinen - Diktonius taught him the theory of music - Diktonius became a poet - valtalaki, the law about political power, written by Kuusinen - met Lenin in Hakaniemi - October 1917 - November 1917 - the general strike - the party drifted into a revolution - Juhani Aho - Irmari Rantamala - the civil war - Eino Leino - Tuure Lehen: there was no military command - Kuusinen the minister of education - the constitution - based on Swiss democracy - on the last night OWK played Bellman's epistola about death - Yesenin - paintings of modernists - Saima and the children to Nisula - nothing red was allowed even in clothes - the father of the Finnish Communist Party - summer-autumn 1918 - goal: revolution - Gorky: a cruel experiment - doomed to fail - the white vs. the red - India - China - communist parties - Germany - the III Internationale - the Komintern - the workers' movement was divided - I: Fridrih Firsov - Sirola, Manner, Kuusinen participated in the founding of the Komintern - international troops - military academy - OWK as a commissar - May 1919 - OWK to Finland - an armed uprising of the people was planned - OWK: Finland is not ready for a revolution - "Usko Sotamies" - the attempt to take over the SDP - Hella Wuolijoki - romance with Lydia Stahl - Buharin's eulogy - Suomen Sosialistinen Työväenpuolue - dared to meet his family - that night he taught me to play chess - destination Stockholm - ♪ Torpedo - I: Ahti Liedes - bloody settlings of accounts - the Russian civil war - the call to OWK - the basic theses of the communist party - the internationale of the peoples of far east - misery - hunger - Trotsky, Zinoviev, Bukharin, Radek, Dimitrov, Kuusinen - "to the masses" - clip: vintage footage at overspeed - NEP - Aino Sarola came to Moscow - I: Rudolf Sykiäinen - Zinoviev: the way goes through Germany - Hotel Lux - a strange atmosphere - the 4. meeting of Komintern - politic, administrators, bureaucrats - many lost their humanity - Ilya Ehrenburg - Sergei Yesenin - Vladimir Mayakovsky - the 5. congress of Komintern - Maurice Thorez - Trotsky expelled - Stalin - the first five year plan - Zinovyev expelled - Bukharin, Kuusinen - there can be no true friends, just ideological companions - the trials - the great depression - Guthrie: Hitler - a turn to the right in Finland - Stalin collectivized the countryside - the changing of party cards - Mayakovsky shot himself - tenth anniversary of Komintern - OWK gave a speech - ♪ Hanns Eisler: Hymne der Komintern - the leading troika - I: Klavdia Yegorova - from above - a suite in a house of the privileged - Aino as an agent in America - 1934 the murder of Kirov - pilgrimages were made to Moscow - César Vallejo - 1935 the red stars of Kremlin - I: Kaija Wilen - mass arrests - executions - minority ethnic groups cleansed - the 7. congress of Komintern - clip: OWK - Dimitrov - the anti-fascist people's front - clip: Wilhelm Pieck - Komintern as a curtain - clip: OWK speaks in German - the old faithful bolsheviks were killed first - OWK in 1936 - I: Marina Amirakov - SKP: Hannes Mäkinen, Jukka Lehtosaari, Lumivuokko, already executed - Arvo Tuominen to Stockholm - OWK tried to save Gylling - executed in 1938 - he did not know what to do - the son Esa, the daughter-in-law - OWK did nothing to protect them - at night the elevater started to move - at three or four o'clock they came to arrest - there was crying, loud voices - it was heavy to live in that house - Zinoviev, Bukharin, Radek purged - people were reduced to cogs in a machinery of executors - the secret police had files on Kuusinen, as well - Vili Bergman
PART 2 - WWII - victory of the Soviet Union - I: Juho Käiväräinen - I: Veikko Airola - the red imperialism - Linia Mannerheima - I: Marina Amiragova - I: Jaakko Rugojev - I: Ortjo Stepanov - it was a farce - all were killed - Prokofiev > Prokkonen - incompetent, drunkards, Terijoki "government" - the HQ was empty - the ministers were in Leningrad - I: Vladimir Fyodorov - Viena and Aunus would have been annexed to Soviet Finland - we were all in a prison - the League of Nations expelled the Soviet Union - clip: OWK - the general Antikainen had an army of his own - over 20.000 troops - I: Jukka Petrov - I: Pekka Nikitin - people were released from prison camps, they were combed - the first 20 years of Karelian socialism - the number one was Gylling - the statistics were the best - it was relatively independent - Gylling was OWK's classmate - a map of 1936 - I: Erkki Fredrikson - Finns from England, Canada, Sweden - tractors, cars, culture, arts - I: Salli Laakso / Salli Bergman - clip: the Karelian work commune - 5 years - I: Urho Ruhanen - even Hitler did not burn as thoroughly - the butchers executed thousands every day - I: Veikko Airola - even at home one did not dare speak - barracks, barracks - there was a million people in Eastern Karelia - OWK did not lift a finger - Wilhelm Pieck - Josip Broz Tito - the secretariat of Komintern - full of bruises - Esa + Taina - Molotov's wife was in prison - wives were taken - Stalin: when we are bachelors - I: Anna Kipzize - Aino Kuusinen had had it better - Stalin's 60th anniversary in 1939 - Esa was released, his wife not - I: Alli Airola - I: Ortjo Stepanov - all the minutes of the Terijoki government - the interrogation of a "prisoner of war" - the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic - Toivo Antikainen - the guide to the Finnish language - contained an order by Stalin - the Petroskoi University - the Finnish language was reinstated - WWII - Petroskoi > Äänislinna - Finnish camps - Belomorsk - Suomi ilman naamiota, a book by OWK - Esa Kuusinen, the terms were official - clip: OWK - a member of the central committee - Komintern was abolished - OWK liked Komintern - 1944 - the lie on the collective treason of the Karelians - OWK: nothing to say - clip: Soviet footage on Helsinki - several new leaders were previous comrades of OWK - clip: SKP - SKDL - I: Martti Malmberg - Paasikivi / Zhdanov - Kuusinen / Zhdanov - the terms were not the best - the old fox OWK - himself slipped to the side - clip: OWK votes - OWK had little interest in Karelia - a new edition of Kalevala - I: Violet Kuusinen - he was a workhorse - I: Pekka Nikitin - liked vodka - Esa was unwilling to receive food from his father - when asked if he was related - he said no, we just share the same name - Esa caught TB in the prison camp - OWK did not attend his son's funeral - Kalevala centenary in Petroskoi - 1948 yet further purges - yet further 40.000 were purged - an autobiography in 1948 - 1937 I had learned I was an enemy of the people - clip: Stalin / Kuusinen - I: Thomas Henriksson - one of the worst criminals - a farewell to Karelia - Zhdanov died - Stalin lifted him to the top - supported Khrushchev - to become a member of the politbureau - the Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic was abolished - ♪ The Magic Flute
PART 3 - Father did not even visit - I: Erkki Fredriksson - the Jyväskylä Lyceum - 1900 students - a year ago, the February Manifesto - 1899 - ♪ Finlandia - a poem by OWK - clip: Ivan the Terrible - I: Frederick Kagan - deep roots in national romanticism - bring the world to another level of being - Marxism-Leninism - wisdom replaces arms - ♪ Замучен тяжелой неволей (обр. Л. Шульгина - Г. Мачтет, 1876) / Sait kärsiä puolesta aatteen / Slavery and Suffering- 1918 Moscow - may your kingdom come - vision - idealist / cynic - criminal - at the lowest ring in hell - I: wife on OWK - never discussed Stalin - clip: Gelovani as Stalin in The Oath - OWK 1921 - to Stalin's side - Trosky: moral degradation - I: Lyyli Ronkonen - the family which OWK left had to endure great economical hardships - I: Kaarina Ravio - Hertta Kuusinen, Tuure Lehen - I: Onerva Tainio - art above life - Diktonius / Mayakovsky - supported Diktonius - a poem - I: Grigori Arbatov - thesis / antithesis - 1956 Khrushchev, politbureau - only two good persons: OWK, Mikoyan - Suslov to chief ideologue - dogmatic - inherited Kuusinen - I: Kagan - Byzaninian courtier on the background - Cuban crisis - whose advice? OWK - withdraw the ships - little hints about OWK the monster - Arbatov - CPSU gave Finland special treatment - OWK was behind it - corrections dictated by OWK were followed - clip: OWK, Ville Pessi, a black briefcase - I: Mirjam Suvanto - I: Helmi Karvinen - I: Anja Kuusinen - sometimes greetings, advice - "stay awake" - the consummation - OWK's dacha - relaxed - singing - Urho Kekkonen never wanted to meet OWK - prevented his visits - OWK on a sound recording: peoples are liberated from colonial slavery - no hate speeches about Finland - he was always a true Finn, loved his homeland - Bolshoi, a private box - daugher: dad, you know nothing about the Soviet Union - clip: OWK home movies, a game with sticks - Walter Ulbricht was dealt the role of the boring one - I: Kai Kuusinen - I: Violet Kuusinen - almost 80 years - still diving - climbing - ♪ a song written by OWK - home movies in colour - deer awakened - the privileged ones - ideals made the politican - the politican lost them - Tito Colliander - space travel - democracy - this I never read from Lenin - renewal of Marxism-Leninism - I: Fyodor Burlatsky - discarding the dictatorship of the proletariat - which had given Stalin and Lenin arguments for mass murders - общенародное государство - a state of the whole people - a very brave move - the minister of culture Furtsev called - the fundaments of Marxism-Leninism - a preface to Kalevala - the song of Väinämöinen - he saw the coming society - the mill of prosperity = Sampo - Sampo = technology - Louhi = capitalism - Kalevala = atavistic communism - no class division - he re-organized the poems - and re-translated them into Russian - I: Aino - a woman falls in love with ears - ♪ Beethoven - OWK: a lot of women - his view of women: never tie up your free love - wanted the woman to be liberated - the greatest feminist - Saima - Aino - Anni - Marina: the final wife - skating: the balance - the eight - skating was fun - wife and child - the 21. congress of CPSU - Kuusinen, Burlatsky, Andropov, Gorbachev - I: Lyyli Ronkonen - OWK and Andropov met in the early 1940s - Andropov came to Karelia - was spared from the purge - Andropov was the one who discovered Gorbachev - not interested in fame - courtier - I: Fyodorov - I was in the bureau when Krushchev called - the book which he was preparing for 20 years - Brezhnev gave OWK a medal - Petroskoi - ♪ Dialektiikan ylistys / Lob der Dialektik (lyrics Bertolt Brecht, comp. Kaj Chydenius) - I: Reijo Kalmakurki - ei koskaan on vielä tänään = und aus niemals wird heute noch - I: Arbatov - there were topics which could not be discussed - a heavy burden - he never discussed Terijoki - he considered it the most shameful thing - to take the chain - in the right place - in the eyes: Rite of Spring / Stravinsky - the last night at the hospital - a red sunset - a Michael Jackson imitator on the Red Square - ♪ a piano tune composed and arranged by OWK.