Juha | Chicago Reader


This intriguing 1937 pastorale, the debut of Finnish director Nykri Tapiovaara, centers on a young farm wife, her crude older husband, and the handsome stranger who seduces her; after running away with the stranger, the wife learns that he?s a rake with a large retinue of ex-lovers. The film is stylistically uncertain: some scenes borrow from silent Soviet film, while other, slower sections aspire to nature lyricism (sometimes successfully, as in a wonderfully poetic montage that shows different foam-and-water patterns on a rapid river). The music is almost operatic, its booming motifs telegraphing different moods.

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