New Finnish film explores teenage pregnancy, immigration, and racism 

Oscar-nominated director Selma Vilhunen talks about how and why she decided to focus on teenage pregnancy and racism in her new film, Hölmö Nuori Sydän.

Tabatha Leggett
Tabatha Leggett NewsMavens, Finland
New Finnish film explores teenage pregnancy, immigration, and racism  - NewsMavens
Hölmö Nuori Sydän. Promotional materials

Why this story matters:

Hölmö Nuori Sydän tells the incredibly timely story of Kira, a teenager who falls pregnant by her boyfriend Lenni, who is starting to hang out with a far-right group. While Kira feels societal pressure to look beautiful and take responsibility for her unborn child, Lenni feels pressure to look tough in front of his friends. 

The film looks at how quickly teenagers can adopt prejudices, and suggests that these prejudices are learned from the adults around them. 

Hölmö Nuori Sydän doesn't offer solutions to any of the problems it brings up, but rather encourages open and honest dialogue. 

Details from the story:

  • Selma Vilhunen read Kirsikka Saare's script five years ago. The script was based on a combination of Saare's real-life best friend, who had a baby at 16-years-old, and a skinhead teenage dad who her hairdresser met outside a hospital.  
  • Vilhunen set the film in eastern Helsinki, with the intention of showing off how beautiful Helsinki's suburbs can be. 
  • Vilhunen knew that directing a film about racism would be difficult, and she was determined to avoid the usual stereotypes and clichés in order to show people who adopt far-right ideologies as real people. 
  • The film explores modern perceptions of masculinity, male identity, and the desire to belong to a community. 
  • Vilhunen says that it was important to her that the film ended on a hopeful note in order to show that even when young people make mistakes, life goes on and those mistakes can be corrected. 
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