Final events of Festival Ruska should make for great “Finnish” to festival

September 29, 2017

Another wonderful day of Festival Ruska was had on Thursday, with students and community members being introduced to mölkky, voisilmapulla and korvapuusi. Now we move to the weekend, and our final two events of 2017 Festival Ruska.


In 1959, a team of Finnish and Soviet filmmakers joined forces to produce a cinematic rendering of Finland’s beloved national epic Kalevala. Named Sampo in its original production, the film told the story of the love between a man and a woman, the creation of a powerful machine that would bring its owner unbelievable wealth, the battle between two communities who could not get along, and a grumpy tree that wanted a more useful existence. Repackaged for an American audience as a semi sci-fi film under the title The Day the Earth Froze, the film became further lost in its translation from epic to film to English-language film, and it is the English-language variant which will be seen. Watch the plot of the literary epic Kalevala be basically blown to smithereens! Watch Finnish names be butchered mercilessly in pronunciation! Watch special effects involving blankets blowing around! Watch a woman driven mad by pretty music and gorgeous flowers!

In order to make it make even less sense, but perhaps more bearable, the film will be screened in its Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, in which it is watched by an audience consisting of an imprisoned maintenance worker and his sarcastic robot friends who heckle it all the way. Hosted by folklorists Dr. Hilary Virtanen and Dr. Tuomas Hovi, this film will allow us to celebrate our campus’s Finnish heritage while not being too boastful about it, in the proud tradition of the Finns themselves.

Refreshments will be provided. This event is sponsored by the Finnish & Nordic Studies Program and Student Life. It will take place in Wargelin Hall’s room 303.

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This is the highlight event of Festival Ruska, and one we’ve talked about quite a bit. The crew has been playing all over Minnesota this week, and has a couple additional stops after their Calumet Theatre performance, which should be the highlight of their trip. The historic theatre was a must stop for the crew. Learn more about their trip by checking out the links below.

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