Ville Salminen | Finland | 1950 | 82 min | Finnish | Subtitles: - | Age restriction: S
A long awaited film is finally arriving at the festival and its traditional movie picnic! The historical romance Kaunis Veera - Balladi Saimaalta (Beautiful Vera - A Ballad from Lake Saimaa) directed by Ville Salminen is one of the masterpieces of Finnish film from the 1950’s, and it is one of the ten most watched Finnish movies of all time. This comedic musical helped Lake Saimaa leave its mark on the minds and souls of the Finns.
The steamship Princess Armada travels on Saimaa, through the canal all the way to Saint Petersburg and back. Actress Assi Nortia in the title role brings the charm, Kipparikvartetti-quartet brings the music and the dance sequences bring the authentic spirit of musicals!
Cinematographer Timo Salminen, the son of the film’s director Ville Salminen, was filming the same landscapes as his father for the Kaurismäki brothers’ first film The Saimaa Gesture, which was our picnic film two years ago. What could be a better place to screen this SF-classic than by the shores of Saimaa at Riihisaari where the world’s last authentic wooden steamship “s/s Mikko” floats!
Text | Nikke Kaartinen / Museum director of Riihisaari – Savonlinna’s museum