One of Finland's most respected filmmakers, Veikko Aaltonen directs his first documentary about the changes of his home country since its admittance into the European Union in 1996. Most Finns are only one or two generations removed from farming. Even today, the country remains sharply bifurcated between traditional rural communities and cosmopolitan, urban society. The five years since Finland's entrance into the E.U. has been marked by a radical shift in its population -- largely to the detriment of its traditions and values. Aaltonen focuses on five people from three different areas, documenting their attempts at maintaining their traditional lifestyle. Some give up trying to improve and enlarge their farms after beating their heads against successive walls of bureaucratic indifference. Others score small, if temporary, victories, such as rescuing their traditional schoolhouse from destruction. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.
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