The Midwife

Antti J. Jokinen directs The Midwife movie based on the novel by Katja Kettu.

Antti J. Jokinen directs the movie The Midwife (Kätilö), which is based on Katja Kettu’s award winning novel Kätilö. The movie will be premiered in 2015. Krista Kosonen and Lauri Tilkanen will be playing the leading roles of Helena and Johannes. The supporting roles will be played by Pirkka-Pekka Petelius, Leea Klemola, Seppo Pääkkönen, Elina Knihtilä, Tommi Korpela and Johannes Brotherus. A Solar Films movie is produced by Markus Selin and Jukka Helle.

The Midwife film is based on Katja Kettu’s award winning novel Kätilö. The director Antti J. Jokinen has written the screenplay together with the author Katja Kettu. The date of the premiere will be announced later.

Antti J. Jokinen comments the movie: ”The Midwife has the feel and complexity of a big drama film. The backgrounds of “Wildeye”, the Finnish midwife Helena, and the German officer Johann Angelhurst, a Nazi, are revealed little by little during the summer, fall and winter of 1944. Amid impossible circumstances an impossible love story is born, the telling of which is flavoured with a pinch of magical realism and fistfuls of harsh realities of war and Finland’s dark history. The fate of women in the prison camps of World War II was cruel, and the film depicts the era with an agonizing precision.”

Gödel (Tommi Korpela) © Solar Films

Katja Kettu states on her behalf: ”I am delighted that Kätilö will be filmed! I am especially glad that, the director genius Antti J. Jokinen and Solar Films took action in this. I am confident, that Antti will make the novel a beautiful and strong movie.” She continues: ”Kätilö is a story of war, but most of all it is a story of love which conquers everything. It draws from the means of classic tragedy which is why it translates well to a movie.”

Kätilö novel has been awarded a Runeberg prize in 2012 and a Kalevi Jäntti prize in 2011. The novel has received critical acclaim and its translation rights have been sold to fourteen countries such as Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Italy. In Germany, Sweden and Norway the novel has already been received with excellent reviews. The readers of Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest national newspaper in Finland, voted the novel to the top 10 in the readers’ poll for the best novels in 2000. Kätilö also won book bloggers’ Blogistan Finlandia award in 2012.

SYNOPSIS

The movie The Midwife is a love story, set against the historical backdrop of “The Lapland War” in 1944-1945, a conflict between Germany and Finland in the aftermath of WWII.

The moral and the human content of the story is exceptionally strong; the love story has ingredients and echoes of the Nazi ideology and the unhuman treatment of the prisoners-of-the-war. These themes, including the feel of love, as experienced by the main character, are so strong that they bypass the whispers and exceptations of morality and consciousness.

The main character is a midwife called Helena, also nick-named as “Wildeye”. She falls in love with a Finnish-German SS-officer Johannes Angelhurst. To him the woman is different, a natural resource, more powerful and different from any other woman.

The events take mainly place in Petsamo, Titovka Prison Camp and so-called “Dead Man’s Fjord”, a remote, unknown place somewhere at the Arctic Ocean; a place people believe is cursed.

The cruel reality of the camp life is revealed slowly in the movie. The events are known from the history books; the Operation 1005, the human experiments conducted on the prisoners and the crude every-day life in the prison are visible in the movie.

The background of Johannes shows us the soul of the soldier, torn by the feelings of guilt.  All the central characters are battling with their own pasts. Fierce, burning love does not remove the past, it does not even allow oblivion. But, in the end, good wins over evil.

CAST
Helena – KRISTA KOSONEN
Johannes – LAURI TILKANEN
Jouni – PIRKKA-PEKKA PETELIUS
Aune – LEEA KLEMOLA
Björne – SEPPO PÄÄKKÖNEN
Heta – ELINA KNIHTILÄ
Gödel – TOMMI KORPELA
Aleksei – JOHANNES BROTHERUS

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PREMIERE
4.9.2015

DIRECTOR
Antti J. Jokinen

SCREENWRITERS
Antti J. Jokinen, Katja Kettu

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Rauno Ronkainen F.S.C.

PRODUCTION DESIGNER
Kari Kankaanpää

COSTUME DESIGNER
Anna Vilppunen

MAKE UP ARTIST
Riikka Virtanen

SOUND DESIGNER
Kirka Sainio

MUSIC
Pessi Levanto

FILM EDITOR
Benjamin Mercer

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