Potatoes against turnips: a comedy about the history of the national root crop was released in Finland
Lithuania played the role of seventeenth century Finland in the film.
– I tried it raw – my stomach ached. I squeezed the juice out of her – I vomited. I tried its fruits – I almost died.
This is how the protagonist of the new Finnish film “Potato” (Peruna) Untamo talks about an unusual root vegetable brought from America. With his help, he wants to make a food revolution, but for the young entrepreneur, as usual, everything is not going according to plan. In Finland, the potato, which in the film is called in the old manner “earthen pear”, has become the same staple food as in Russia or other Slavic countries, although potatoes came to Europe only five hundred years ago.
The premiere of the film in cinemas in Finland took place on Friday 13 August. The leading role was played by the famous comedian Joonas Nordman , in the supporting roles the equally famous Kari Ketonen , Kari Hietalahti , Tommy Korpela , Ville Myllyrinne and Mimosa Villamo .
Although the film formally depicts a fictional story of the penetration of the potato into Finnish soil in the 17th century, the modern viewer will easily guess the parody of 21st century startup. Fundraising, business angels, crowdfunding, the machinations of competitors (in this case, the turnip growers’ guild), including bribery of influencers to conduct a campaign to smear potatoes (the role of influencer is performed by a local pastor). And the persistent belief of one person in the success of his project, because of which he is ready to go over the heads of his closest associates.
In humor and spirit, the film is very reminiscent of the second season of the series “Miracle Workers”, which is dedicated to the Middle Ages. The similarity can be seen from the first minutes: Untamo works in a castle called Horseback (the Finns call the backwoods hevonperä) in “maintaining cleanliness”, that is, the goldsmith, and in “Miracle Workers” there is a whole family of Shitheads, led by Eddie Murphy Shitshoveler performed by Steve Buscemi . Joonas Nordman is somewhat reminiscent of Daniel Radcliffe , and Mimosa Villamo – Geraldine Visvanathan .
It is noteworthy that Lithuania played the role of medieval Finland in the film. Filming took place in the fall of 2019 in Trakai Castle, which became the Horse Back, in the town of Siesikai, which embodied the image of Turku, and in the Museum of Folk Life in Rumsiskes. Lithuanian actors starred in episodic roles of inhabitants of castles and cities.