Art under the Midnight Sun


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The Kaurismäki brothers filmmakers found in the Arctic city of Sodankylä the ideal setting to bring the Midnight Sun Festival to life .

It is two o'clock in the morning in Sodankylä, it is summer, and in this city of Lapland findlanlesa to 120 kms. the Arctic Circle in summer does not set the sun. What better scenario to celebrate a summer film festival?

This was thought by Mika Kaurismäki established in Brazil and author among other Amazon and Tigrero films, and her brother Aki who, in the wide filmography that Le Havre directed , Lights at Sunset and his latest work, The Other Side of Hope, awarded by SIGNIS (World Catholic Association for Communication) for the best European film 2017 and for the Berlin International Film Festival (2017) for best director.

'Le Havre', by los hermanos Kaurismäki

'Le Havre', by the Kaurismäki brothers © Alamy

Together with the late director-historian Peter von Bagh, a writer of about twenty books, such as The History of World Cinema (1975) and director of the Film Library of Finland, they founded the festival in 1985 .

Curiously and contrary to what might be expected, the germ of the festival was fertilized in November, around four o'clock in the morning, when through the bar window where brothers Kaurismäki and Peter von Bagh had their usual drinks, showed the sadness of a bleak landscape.

At that dark moment they came up with the idea "Let's set up a Film Festival!" inviting filmmakers for those who felt frank admiration, so from the beginning a special bond was established.


Landscapes of Sodankylä © Getty Images

The truth is that shortly after the festival began, the relaxed atmosphere of Sodankylä was transmitted, making each edition more attractive to the world of celluloid. When years ago, the guests took the railway from Helsinki to Sodankylä, on the same train some films chosen for the festival were projected and when they arrived in the Lappish city they were all friends.

Sodankylä is very small . It is not difficult to walk down the street named after famous directors and end up chatting with one of them.

The festival program involves the old and the new . The timeless masterpieces of veteran filmmakers are presented alongside the most exciting films of contemporaries. It also includes new Finnish productions, children's films and premieres ; a total of 80 films presented in more than 100 screenings . In conclusion, morning conversations are held with the main guests.

Que la taiga nos acompañe

May the taiga be with us © Alamy

The Festival, already its 33rd edition, is increasingly known and visited . There have paraded figures such as Francis Ford Coppola, Samuel Fuller, Carlos Saura, Fernando Trueba, or Julio Medem . In four rooms, one of them a circus tent, the chosen selection of films in a relaxed atmosphere, nothing of red carpets, are projected during the twenty-four hours of four days, continuing with the general tonic of Finnish art in all areas, whose premise is creativity as an approach to people.

One of the expected was The Ring (silent film by Alfred Hitchcock 1928) with the accompaniment of the award-winning foley artists, Heikki Kossi, Nicolas Becker and Peter Albrechtsen who achieved a unique climax.

The idea of ​​the Sing Along during the screening of the Yellow Submarine of the Beatles could not be more successful. The large audience welcomed the karaoke with euphoria and the Beatles songs were cheered before leaving the tent and at two in the morning walk to the lake to say goodbye and receive at the same time that sun that before bed is already coming out of new.


The name of Lapland alone evokes lush forests and endless lakes. However, this lonely scenario hides a creativity that in the past has made Finland famous, becoming its hallmark. Suomi and Sami flaunt their talent with the brushes and inspiration of the excellent nature that surrounds them.

Near the city of Posio, on the shores of a lake, Anu Pentik, the queen of ceramics in Finland, who turned the Timisjärvi reindeer farm into an artist's refuge and turned Posio into an international ceramic reference that today welcomes the Arctic Ceramic Center and is home to international symposia.

Tuula-Majja Magga-Helta lives in the town of Vuotso and belongs to the Northern Sami as they show the colors of her dress, although married to a Sami Inari. She is small, dark hair, very white skin and full of love and humor when she tells how her husband built the wooden house where they live, why the designs of those tapestries woven by her, to finally sing a Thanks to life song accompanied by an oval drum made with reindeer skin.

A shared publication of Arctic Ceramic Center (@ arctic.ceramic.centre) on 2 Aug, 2016 at 11:57 PDT

The Sami Inari reindeer craft and farm shop is the ideal complement to understand the Sami universe a little more and observe the beautiful objects made with Lapp materials in which the reindeer antler and its skin predominate.

Design House Idoli in Ivalo is another beautiful surprise hidden in the thicket of the shore of Lake Inari (as large as Belgium) where the marriage Hanneli and Pekka Sillfors fulfilled their dream 20 years ago creating a concept of Gourmet Gallery that combines the best of Finnish design and gastronomy.

In his beautiful gallery creations of famous designers Suomi and Sami rub shoulders with those of those who begin and deserve a place on their shelves.