Finding Gold and Finding Purpose: A Deeply Human Tale of Survival in Sisu

Finding Gold and Finding Purpose: A Deeply Human Tale of Survival in Sisu

Jalmari Helander’s latest film Sisu is an action-packed historical drama set against the backdrop of Finnish Lapland during World War II. The film follows a gold prospector who finds himself caught in the middle of a dangerous conflict as he tries to protect his stolen gold and defend himself from a Nazi death squad led by a ruthless Schutzstaffel officer.

The film stars Jorma Tommila, Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan and Mimosa Willamo in lead roles and is shot on location near the Nuorgam village in Lapland. With a budget of approximately €6 million, Helander has brought to life a gripping tale of survival and valor, which draws inspiration from the real-life story of Finnish military sniper Simo Häyhä and the 1982 American action film, First Blood.

Originally, Helander was set to work on a sci-fi comedy, Jerry and Ms. Universe, but the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted those plans. As a result, Helander began work on Sisu, which quickly garnered the attention of international distributors. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions acquired the film’s worldwide distribution rights outside Nordic countries and teamed up with Lionsgate to release the film in North America.

Sisu made its debut at the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2022, to critical acclaim. The film premiered in Finland on January 27, 2023 and was released in the United States on April 28, 2023.

The film’s title, Sisu, is a Finnish term that refers to a combination of resilience, determination and perseverance in the face of adversity. The film portrays these qualities through its lead characters, who are forced to confront their own mortality and overcome unimaginable odds to survive

The cast action film Sisu includes:

  • Jorma Tommila as Aatami Korpi, a gold prospector who tries to defend himself against a Nazi death squad
  • Aksel Hennie as Bruno Helldorf, a brutal Schutzstaffel officer who leads the Nazi death squad
  • Jack Doolan as Wolf, a member of the Nazi death squad
  • Mimosa Willamo as Aino, a Finnish woman who helps Aatami Korpi
  • Onni Tommila as Schütze, a member of the Nazi death squad.

What is the plot of the movie Sisu?

Sisu is a movie about a Finnish soldier named Aatami Korpi who has left World War 2 behind to be isolated and find gold so he can finally have a life. He dreams of a normal life, he ignores low-flying war planes like birds and is busy finding his gold in Finnish’s Lapland wilderness while the world around him burns. 

When he has the gold, he sets out to move to the main city to encash it and get his money. However, the Nazi troops left behind pick a bone with him and the brutality unfolds with insanity. Jalmari Helander, the filmmaker, wants to tell a story about determination, almost like the stories we weave in our minds as a child of being a lone survivor and eradicating every bit of roadblock single-handedly. 

The film is set at the end of World War 2 and the Nazis had almost lost and those who remained were busy filling their pockets to have a life beyond the war for the losing side. The story develops Korpi’s character as a human first and an assassin later.

A Cinematic Masterpiece: The Raw Beauty and Brutality of Sisu

Sisu is a movie about a Finnish soldier named Aatami Korpi who left World War 2 to find gold and begin a new life. Directed by Jalmari Helander, the film shows the importance of determination and resilience when facing tough situations.

The film’s protagonist, played brilliantly by actor Joonas Saartamo, is a complex and deeply human character, struggling to find meaning and purpose in a world that has been torn apart by war. His determination to find gold and start anew is both inspiring and heartbreaking, as he ignores the chaos and destruction around him in pursuit of his dream.

The cinematography is breathtaking, capturing the raw beauty of Finland’s Lapland wilderness, as well as the horror and brutality of war. The scenes of low-flying warplanes are particularly haunting, reminding us of the constant threat of violence that lurks just beyond the horizon.

As the film unfolds, we see Korpi’s character evolve from a lone survivor into a hardened assassin, forced to confront the Nazi troops that have picked a bone with him. The violence that ensues is brutal and unrelenting, a stark reminder of the horrors of war and the toll it takes on those who fight it.

Sisu is a strong and thought-provoking movie that talks about being determined, never giving up and how war can hurt people. The director Jalmari Helander tells a really good story that will make people think and feel for a long time. If you like movies about war and people’s lives, you should definitely watch Sisu.