Sunday, October 19, 2003

What I’m watching
Ambush

'Takes place in the first days of World War II in Karelia, a Russian town by the Finnish border. A young lieutenant is sent on a reconaissance mission behind enemy lines, leaving his beautiful fiancée behind. During his mission he receives the tragic news that she has been killed by the Russians. The war becomes personal and the young blue-eyed officer changes into an unstoppable killing machine.'

It looks pretty recently made and is in Finnish with English subtitles.

Interesting antiwar statement - always a good thing - but watching it what struck me was locally this was a just war. The Finns literally were defending their homes against the invading USSR. (Much like the British were resisting the Germans.) I've been acquainted with Ukrainians who essentially did the same thing, putting on German uniforms like the Finns did to do so. And I don't blame them. (The enemy of my enemy is my friend, etc.)

Cultural note: the only words I could understand were a few loan words the Finns used and a bit of Russian spoken by the other side's soldiers. Finnish (Suomi) isn't really European, not at all related to the European family of languages, but like its sister Estonian and its distant cousin Hungarian was really a central Asian language to begin with. Culturally, Finland and nearby Estonia may be Scandinavian, but ethnically and linguistically they're not!

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