Together with Tampere Workers’ Theatre, Tampere Theatre, Tampere Ooppera and Vapriikki Museum,
Tampere Film Festival wants to take part in the remembrance of the Finnish Civil War and the Tampere
of 1918. 

Seppo Rustanius was born on 7 April 1943 in Tammela, Tampere, a neighbourhood that had been
destroyed in Tampere’s defining battle 25 years before, at the turn of March and April, 1918.
There isn’t another documentary filmmaker in Finland like Seppo Rustanius, who has, with such frenzy
and sense of history, delved into the Finnish Civil War of 1918. In fact, he already touched on the topic in
his controversial and censored documentary Sotapapit (The War Priests, 1981).

Sotapapit was followed by seven documentaries about the tragic events of 1918: 1918 sodan kuvat
(Pictures of the Finnish Civil War 1918, 1989), Pyhä Sota (Holy War, 1990), Jälkipuhdistus –
vankileirikokemuksia (The Purge, 1994), the trilogy Tie tuntemattomaan (A Road into Unknown, 1996),
Punaiset esiliinat – naisten kohtaloita Suomen punakaartissa (Red Aprons, 1997), Punaorvot valkoisessa
Suomessa (Red Orphans in White Finland, 1999) and the latest on the theme, Uhrit 1918 – Suomen
sisällissota ja valkoiset teloittajat (Victims 1918, 2008). The seven aforementioned documentaries will be
seen as part of the Tampere Film Festival’s Seppo Rustanius retrospective and Rake Special. Who knows,
perhaps we will also see Seppo’s and Jouko Aaltonen’s latest documentary about the events of 1918,
Sodan silmät (Eyes of War)?

Some of the most crucial elements in Seppo Rustanius’ documentaries are memory and the themes of
remembering. As Seppo said in 2008: “When interviewing the elderly, you must first gain their trust, after
which they will open up about their experiences. When someone is at their most genuine, they will find
that authentic experience within their memories. Many of the Red orphans began their stories by telling
me they had never told anyone else about their experiences.

A documentary film creates a world where the audience can emphatise with history. It is a way to recount
history, where emotions have a place. With my documentaries, I aim to be fair and to show how a
distressed person behaves. I want the modern audience to see the disastrous war camps, the wartime
suffering, and recount mankind’s history of the soul.” (Kulttuurivihkot magazine 2/2008)

 

Rustanius screenings:
Seppo Rustanius 1: Thu 8.3. 18.00 Plevna 6
Seppo Rustanius 2: Fri 9.3  14.00 Plevna 6
Seppo Rustanius 3: Sat 10.3 10.00 Niagara

Please note, no re-runs. Ticket sales opens 14.2.