Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lain mukaan

Enligt lagen / [By the Law]. FI 1956. PC: Fennada. P: Mauno Mäkelä. D+SC: Roland af Hällström - based on the short story by Minna Canth (1889). DP: Esko Töyri. M: Tauno Pylkkänen. Starring: Eila Peitsalo (Maria Toikka), Matti Oravisto (worker Ville Toikka), Fritz-Hugo Backman (boss Ephraim Oppman), Elvi Saarnio (Katri), Pentti Viljanen (foreman Peltonen). 76 min. A vintage print with Swedish subtitles. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 13 August 2008. - Hällström's last film closes the circle with his first film: both are based on prominent women author's texts, and both are relevant for feminism. - The inflammatory short story of Minna Canth was first published as a private publication only. Based on a true case in Kuopio, it is an account of a conviction of a worker for attempted manslaughter of the big boss who had sent him on an errand of two weeks in order to access his young and beautiful wife. - This could be the stuff of exaggerated melodrama, but Minna Canth and Roland af Hällström work against the expectations. The approach is restrained. Ville and Maria keep silent in the court, not provoked by the distortions of the prosecutor. Ville is sent to three years of hard labour. In the evening the boss appears at Maria's home. With him, a bottle of wine more sparkling than ever. - Fennada quality production at its best.

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