The village of Salla is in Northern Finland, close to the border with Russia. One dark evening, filmmaker Markku Tuurna drives out to this hamlet in Lapland to visit his friend Jyrki Kuukkanen. They are going to bury Jyrki's dog, whose body has been in the freezer since winter; it is only now that the ground is soft enough to dig a grave. When they were younger, the two friends enjoyed the endless opportunities for skiing, sledding and fishing in the huge natural reserve, as Tuurna shows us in old 8mm home movies. But these days, their lives are very different. The life story of his boyhood friend from Lapland lies at the heart of the story Tuurna tells in the film, showing what depopulation and high levels of unemployment are doing to the region. Jyrki's family business - a chain of stores - has gone bankrupt. The mayor of Salla, which in 2007 was still a busy skiing destination but owing to the recession is now completely deserted, makes overtures to the Russians to get the railway line from St. Petersburg to Murmansk to run through the village. In the neighboring village of Pelkosenniemi, a property developer has big plans for a theme park in the unspoiled nature. But will he be opposed, like the mayor, by the environmental activists and reindeer herders? In eight chapters, Tuurna shows how it is not only nature that can be grim, here in the deep North.
Wybrane nagrody i festiwale/ Selected festivals and awards: 2010 – MFF Amsterdam/IDFA.
Finland/ Finlandia, 2010
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