A People’s Radio – Ballads from a Wooded Country

Kansanradio – Runonlaulajien maa

  • Virpi Suutari
  • Finland
  • 2021
  • 27 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Masters

What fires the soul of a Finn? An array of scenes of summery Finnish landscapes, in the city as well as the countryside, accompanies messages from listeners to the popular radio program Kansanradio, meaning “People’s radio.” They speak their minds, to no one in particular, on a broad spectrum of subjects, ranging from a plan to stop using shampoo to airing political views, and from the grief over a lost partner to struggles with religious faith and rage about a neighbor’s noisy drilling.

Alongside the rural beauty familiar to tourists—of midsummer-night lakes, cabins, and birch forests—we also see scenes of a more everyday Finnish reality. They, too, have their rained-out amusement parks and drab housing projects, although here you’re a lot more likely to see a reindeer ambling through the shot. These images combine with the amusing, melancholic, and sometimes defiant radio voices to form a quiet declaration of love to Finland and its inhabitants.


  • 27 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Finnish
  • Subtitles in: English
Virpi Suutari
Virpi Suutari for Euphoria Film Oy, Martti Suosalo for Euphoria Film Oy
Heikki Färm, Mikko Leinonen
Teresa Sadik-Ogli
Sound Design
Tuomas Skopa

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