The story takes place in a small Finnish village, way up north. The time is early 70’s and the word spreads out: the President of the Republic of Finland, Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, is coming to pay a short visit. To this exact village, very soon!
This is not a biopic of a great president, but a story of the rage, horror and joy of anticipation. What possible things could the visit of the leaders of the country mean to the everyday-life-weary people of a tiny village? This is time for a change! The arrival of Kekkonen sparks various different passions; to someone he is a saviour, a physical, fantastic fisherman and a hunter. To someone else he is a great benefactor of Finnish art, to someone else a long lost father figure. Kekkonen’s arrival will wipe the dreary grayness of life from the village; the winds of change will blow from the mountains. And it is this change everyone wants a part of.
The style of Village People is very tongue-in-cheek; it is a twisted comedy. The Finnish madness is portrayed laconically but with warmth and love. As a nation, the Finns have an inbuilt appreciation for those in power, but simultaneously, we all have a little rebel inside us. The common, human feature in all Finns is also a longing with no specific target; a thought about a better tomorrow, a deep belief in the possibility of change.
As a director, I found the ferocious energy and the insane humanity of the characters in Village People as a fantastic base to build on. There are a lot of great female parts, everyone is on the edge but on a different one. The women are strong and determined. They all reach out for their individual goals bravely, using all means possible. When their paths cross, also their dreams are on a collision course – even in many absurd ways.
When the caravan of the President is approaching, the feelings and emotions up north collide and crash.
One of the most promising Finnish new generation movie directors Marja Pyykkö (born March 26th 1975) has graduated from UIAH.
Her first feature film “Run, Sister, Run” is a milestone in the way it portrays the rebellion of the Finnish youth. “Village People” is Pyykkö’s second feature; a tongue-in-cheek comedy about people longing for a miracle, something or someone to change their lives for good. The story is set way up in Finnish Lapland where everything is twisted but nothing is as it seems.
Pyykkö’s one hour short feature “Here Lies Aino Koski” won a honorary citation in the Nordic Talent Competition in 2008. “Run, Sister, Run” was awarded for the best pitch in the same competition.
Pyykkö has directed numerous short films and commercials. As a second-generation movie professional, she has lived and breathed film since early ages as an actress, assistant director, casting director and property master before her career launched her to the director’s chair.