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...

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 »

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 »

CHUCK & BUCK

"Chuck and Buck were once 'best friends', a relationship that means so much to children but fades once the innocence that formed it is gone. For Buck this innocence has never gone away. His interests ... More »

A ROOM FOR ROMEO BRASS

Shane Meadows (Small Time & Where's the Money Ronnie, both MIFF 1997) once again proves himself one of Britain's most intriguing visual poets with this thoroughly engaging movie about English ... More »

TWIN FALLS IDAHO

A methodically crafted yet magically realised feature debut which, although officially credited to Michael Polish, is enough of a joint effort to be billed as a Polish brothers film. Michael's ... More »

JESUS' SON

Filled with stinging humour and standout performances, Jesus' Son is a mixture of road movie and redemptive table set in the drug subculture of the 1970s. Based on Denis Johnson's acclaimed short ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director