Mystery Of The Wolf [DVD] by Tiia Talvisara
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United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: Finnish ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: A girl who feels a kinship with wild animals defends them when no one else will in this family-friendly drama from Finland. When her husband drowns during an accident while fishing, Laila (Vuokko Hovatta) is driven mad by the loss and she abandons her young daughter Salla in the wilderness. The child is protected by a herd of wolves until she's rescued by Antii (Kari-Pekka Toivonen), a concerned police officer. Antii and his wife Kirsti (Miia Nuutila) adopt Salla, and the girl grows up in a strong and loving household. However, as Salla (Tiia Talvisara) is maturing into a young woman, she feels a rivalry for Antii and Kirsti's attentions when she learns Kirsti is pregnant. Salla is also dealing with the upsetting news that her mother, after years of therapy, wants to be part of her life again. In the midst of this, a handful of hunters are leading a campaign to allow hunting of the wolves, which has long been illegal. The wolves are being blamed for the death of a number of deer, but Salla is convinced there's another explanation, and sets out to clear the names of the animals who protected her years ago. ...Mystery of the Wolf ( Suden arvoitus ) ( Le myst?re du loup )
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.co.uk
In relation to the first point, I am not sure that what I took from the film was what was meant to be taken from it. There is a somewhat stereotypical view of Nordic countries (I am including Finland, where this film is set, amongst these) as more egalitarian and therefore more civilised and pleasant to live in than most other countries. However, I did not find the characters and society portrayed in this film as any more pleasant and sympathetic than people in any other country, including my own.
For instance, the purportedly most benign character, the foster mother, seemed to me to be rather cruel in some ways, as for instance in her behaviour towards Laila, the supposedly mentally ill or "troubled" birth mother of her adopted daughter, Salla, the main character of the film. The persecution of Laila by the children of the locality is unfortunately typical of the behaviour of people generally towards outsiders. I did not find even Salla to be as sympathetic a character in some ways as I think she was meant to be. But then, she is after all a teenage member of our species. And needless to say, the villain of the piece, a reindeer rustler and wolf killer, is suitably nasty.
The unpleasantness of the society and characters depicted in the film extended for me to the relationship between them and the natural environment. While one can understand the usefulness of guns, snowmobiles, four wheel drive vehicles, quads etc in the far North, the culture (ie our modern industrialised culture) represented by all that paraphernalia contrasts unfavourably in some ways with the culture of the indigenous nomadic people who had a more symbiotic and less destructive relationship with the natural environment.
It should be noted that the "wolves" in the film are not real wolves but wolfdogs, which are hybrids resulting from the mating of wolves with dogs. That was somewhat disappointing but probably necessary given the difficulty of getting wolves to avoid the furniture.
However, I would still recommend this film. It is well made and well acted and it is an accurate - if not indeed all too accurate - portrayal of human society in microcosm against the backdrop of a harshly beautiful natural landscape.