Skip to main content

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

See also...

FROZEN CITY

A searing salute to Scorsese's Taxi Driver, filmmaker Aku Louhimies based Frozen City on the fate of one of the characters from his television series Fragments (2003) and follows a narrative thread ... More »

SEVEN SONGS FROM THE TUNDRA

Take a journey to the top of the world. Seven Songs from the Tundra is an anthology of tales set in far north Russia, depicting the life of the Nenets. Ranging in time from early last century through ... More »

EXISTENZ

In the near future, a group of players gather to try out eXistenz, the latest in full-immersion VR game technology. eXistenz is the brainchild of the games world's most notorious genius, Allegra ... More »

SAVING GRACE

Grace (Brenda Blethyn, Secrets and Lies [MIFF 1996], Utile Voice) has been left a lovely manor house on the Cornish coast by her recently deceased husband. Unfortunately, she has also been bequeathed ... More »

THE GENESIS

A Biblical story of wrath and vengeance unlike anything you may have heard at Sunday School. Prodigiously talented filmmaker Cheik Oumar Sissoko sets his story 300 years after the Great Flood that ... More »

THE BRIDGE IN THE RAIN

Uwe and Gustav are brothers who are both wrestling with a major mid-life crisis. Zen Buddhism is Gustav's answer to his situation, as he plans for a trip to a Japanese monastery. Uwe, meanwhile ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director