Sunday, January 02, 2011

Mannerheim Jörn Donnerin kertomana Osa 1

[Mannerheim As Told by Jörn Donner Part 1]. Part 1 of a five-part non-fiction essay tv series FI 2011. PC: Jörn Donner Productions / Franck Media. D+SC: Jörn Donner. ED: Klaus Grabber. M: Pedro Hietanen. 57 min. YLE TV1 transmission watched on 2 Jan 2011

Official presentation:  "A Lieutenant General is in Odessa in the year 1917, in the middle or at the end of his career. A man without a future?"

The film starts with a long shot of the equestrian statue of Mannerheim on the Mannerheim Street in Helsinki. "Why Mannerheim?" Jörn Donner's own commentary steers us through the story. We also hear excerpts from Mannerheim's memoirs. We visit Odessa, the Hotel London, the Odessa steps. In 1917 Mannerheim embarks a railway car of his own. "If I would make a fiction film about Mannerheim, I would select this episode". Lenin footage (authentic silent footage is shown with overspeed). Mannerheim and St. Petersburg: Mannerheim never authorized a Finnish attack against it during the siege of Leningrad. Mannerheim in Helsinki: few know him in Finland. On what grounds does he become the commander in chief of the White Army? His birth into nobility and wealth, big estate ownership. The years of Mannerheim's birth (1867) and early childhood were the years of the last devastating famine in Finland. "Noblesse oblige?" Mannerheim learns the Finnish language first in his adulthood, and then only in rudiments. Military academy at the age of 17: Finnish military career would lead to nowhere. Entering the Imperial Page School in Saint Petersburg, the most important city for Finland at the time. Today: celebrating the Victory Day in Saint Petersburg. Marrying Anastasie Arapova at the age of 25. Mannerheim's decision to fight in the Russo-Japanese war. 1906-1909 Mannerheim as an intelligence officer makes an extended journey through Turkestan to Peking. Kashgar is his base, the city of the Uyghurs. After his return in 1909, he is appointed to command the 13th Vladimir Uhlan Regiment at Mińsk Mazowiecki in Poland. At the beginning of World War I, Mannerheim serves as commander of the Guards Cavalry Brigade, and fights on the Austro-Hungarian and Romanian fronts. - Here we jump to Mannerheim's death in Switzerland in 1951. There is extended documentary footage on the making of his equestrian statue. - Mannerheim's goal was freedom. Immediately after his death - already during the funeral ceremonies - Mannerheim became a symbol for Finnish patriotism and the fight for freedom.

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