Antti J. Jokinen to direct The Midwife, based on the novel by Katja Kettu
Starring Krista Kosonen, Lauri Tilkanen, Martti Suosalo, Leea Klemola, Tommi Korpela, Elina Knihtilä, Seppo Pääkkönen and Johannes Brotherus.
Antti J. Jokinen will direct The Midwife, based on the awarded novel by Katja Kettu. The movie will premiere in 2015. The ensemble cast will incude front-row actors like Krista Kosonen, Lauri Tilkanen, Leea Klemola, Tommi Korpela, Elina Knihtilä, Seppo Pääkkönen and Johannes Brotherus. The Solar Films movie will be produced by Markus Selin and Jukka Helle.
The Midwife is based on the multi-awarded novel with the same title by Katja Kettu. Antti J. Jokinen has written the screenplay with the author.
Jokinen says: “The Midwife is above all a love story in the middle of the Lapland war and a story about human emotions and survival in extreme conditions. I am not so interested in the Nazi stigmas of the past, although they are a strong part of the narrative. When I was writing the script, I realized that people don’t know much about the Lapland war in Finland. The movie is about a group of people and I am blessed with a great cast.”
Antti continues: “I have wanted for a long time to make a movie taking place in Lapland. Now I can finally do that and show the events of 1944, which tie Finland powerfully to the history of the whole Europe. We will shoot the movie in various locations up north.”
Katja Kettu comments: “I am overjoyed that The Midwife will be seen on the screen! I am particularly glad that the genius director and Solar Films took the challenge. I trust that Antti will make a beautiful and a strong movie.”
Kettu continues: “The Midwife is a story of the war but above all, it is a story of love that will conquer everything. It draws from the well of classic tragedy and that is why it will make a great movie.”
The novel has won several literature prizes and has been critically acclaimed. The translation rights have been sold to 13 countries, including Germany, France, Sweden, Norway and Italy. The readers of Helsingin Sanomat – the biggest and most prestigious newspaper in Finland – voted the novel among the top ten of the books of the 2000’s. The book has sold over 80 000 copies in Finland alone.
Antti J. Jokinen has previously directed Purge, based on the novel by Sofi Oksanen. The movie was Finland’s entry to the Oscars and won the most Finnish Film Awards in 2013. Jokinen also helmed The Resident, starring Hillary Swank. He has also directed music videos to various world-class stars, such as Celine Dion, Anastacia, Korn, Kelly Clarkson, Shania Twain, Nightwish, Lord, Westlife and Wyclef Jean.
It is fair to call The Midwife a love story, taking place against the backdrop of the historical events of the Lapland war. The moral and the human aspects are exceptionally strong, because the love story has undertones of both Nazi ideology and the unhuman treatment of prisoners-of-war. The key theme is love, felt by the title character; a love so strong that the commands and whispers of the conscience are ignored. Helena, also known as the False-eye, is a midwife who falls in love with a German-Finnish SS-officer Johannes Angelhurst. To him, she is Wildeye; a natural force, unlike any other woman. The story takes place around Petsamo, in the Parkkina area, in the Titovka prison camp and in the so called Dead Man’s Fjord – a cursed and such a remote place that is not even on the maps. The story involves Operation 1005, familiar from the history books, the cruel procedures of the prison camps and scientific tests on humans. Trough Johannes and his personal history we get a glimpse of a soul of a soldier, tormented by his own guilt. All the central characters are struggling with their own past. By loving madly you can’t erase the history, not even forget – but in the end, good triumphs over evil.
Director: Antti J. Jokinen
Screenplay: Antti J. Jokinen and Katja Kettu
Helena – Krista Kosonen
Johannes – Lauri Tilkanen
Jouni – Martti Suosalo
Aune – Leea Klemola
Björne – Seppo Pääkkönen
Heta – Elina Knihtilä
Gödel – Tommi Korpela
Aleksei – Johannes Brotherus