Archive of films Frozen Land / Paha maa

2005, 130 min

Section: Worried About Work
Year: 2005

The most talked about Nordic film of the year, this bold and often bleakly humorous film depicts modern life and human frailty in contemporary Finland, delving into unemployment, alcoholism, depression and drug addiction, as well as treating courage and the difficulty of forgiveness as central themes.


Here’s the most talked about Nordic film of the year, a bold and often bleakly humorous depiction of modern life and human frailty in contemporary Finland. Its powerful themes of courage and the difficulty of forgiveness play out in overlapping episodes that delve into unemployment, alcoholism, depression and drug addiction. Inspired by the same Leo Tolstoy short story that sparked Robert Bresson’s classic L’argent, Frozen Land also follows a path begun by an injustice. Although a forged banknote links a chain of events, an even more significant connection between characters and circumstances derives from their work (or lack of it) and the stresses they experience on the job. Like compatriot Aki Kaurismäki, director Aku Louhimies closely observes the human cost of labour in its various manifestations. In some ways reminiscent of Ulrich Seidl’s Dog Days, the film combines psychological acuity with a sharp eye for social problems.

About the director

Aku Louhimies (b. 1968, Finland) has risen to the top echelon of Finnish movie directors during the last decade. He gained professional skills and experience while working on several popular television series in the 1990s. His debut feature film Restless (Levottomat, 2000) was a major box office hit, just like his second feature Lovers & Leavers (Kuutamolla, 2002). His multiple award-winning television series  “Fragments” ( “Irtiottoja,” 2003) further enhanced his reputation. He was elected Director of the Year in 2004 by the Association of Finnish Film Directors. Frozen Land (Paha maa, 2005) won the Nordic Award and three other official prizes at the Göteborg Film Festival.


The Finnish Film Foundation
Kanavakatu 12, 2nd floor, 00160, Helsinki
Tel: +358 962 203 00
Fax: +358 962 203 050

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Worried About Work
Director: Aku Louhimies
Screenplay: Paavo Westerberg, Jari Rantala, Aku Louhimies
Dir. of Photography: Rauno Ronkainen
Editor: Samu Heikkilä
Producer: Markus Selin
Production: Solar Films Inc.
Cast: Jasper Pääkkönen, Mikko Leppilampi, Pamela Tola, Petteri Summanen, Matleena Kuusniemi
Contact: The Finnish Film Foundation

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