Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vaaran merkki / The Sign of Danger

Varningssignalen / Die Organisation [the German title on print]. FI 1976. PC: 2P Production. P+D+SC+ED: Pirjo Honkasalo & Pekka Lehto. DP: Pertti Mutanen. M: Heikki Valpola. With: Pekka Siitoin. 516 m (16 mm) / 20 min. A 35 mm blow-up print (Deutsche Fassung) with commentary in German only and Finnish dialogue with German subtitles viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki (A Tribute to Pirjo Honkasalo), 19 Jan 2011

A documentary film on Finnish Neo-Fascists of the 1970s and their Führer, Pekka Siitoin. The film comes incredibly close to the target. The Neo-Nazis, whose emblem is an inverted swastika, even let the filmmakers shoot them in the sauna! The Orion audience roared with laughter in disbelief. Pirjo Honkasalo and Pekka Lehto refrain to comment the revived slogans from the 1930s ("the best Russkie is a dead Russkie", "Commies and Jews ain't even human", "Hooray for Greater Finland") or the new ones ("Kekkonen to the concentration camp!"). There was a moment of silence at some of the forecasts: "the age of the Soviet Union lasts 73 years, and it will end in 1990"! "The wall will fall, and the Greater Germany will rise". The film ends with the trial against the Neo-Nazis who had committed arson on the Communist Kursiivi printing house. (I would have omitted the final image, a quote from Kekkonen stating that he refuses to be a president of Fascists.) - By accident the print screened was a German version, which, however, lent a special emphasis on the subject. The German commentary and the German speaker are quite good.

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