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AMBUSH

Finland, 1999 (MIFF 2000, International Panorama)

Director: Olli Saarela

In the early days of the Summer of 1941, the Finnish army is mobilised on the Russian border. An idealistic young lieutenant, Eero, leads his platoon into a newly conquered village. There he sees his beloved fiancee Kaarina, who is serving in the Women's Auxiliary Corps. Eero asks his superiors to have Kaarina and the other women transferred from the front line. In return, he accepts a dangerous reconnaissance mission into enemy territory.

During the mission, he receives devastating news, sparking his own personal war. He becomes obsessed with revenge and closes his eyes to the atrocities around him and forgets the meaning of mercy. The safety of his platoon is overlooked as his personal quest consumes him. This powerful film traces Eero's journey to confronting his personal demons in a lime of great upheaval. Sweeping imagery of the devastated countryside enhances the themes of this potent film, raising the question of whether there is any humanity left during wartime.

"This handsome Finnish production is an ambitious mix of visual poetry and brutal battle scenes that creates an often moving film about how war hardens the human soul."—Variety

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