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Framom främsta linjen 2004
Description: A film based on true wartime diaries says the storyline of the Swedish speaking Finns' infantry regiment 61. The storyline follows the regiment during the Continuation Fight from 1942 to 1944 and from Syväri to the Karelian Isthmus where they faced some of the most grueling wars vs the Soviet Union.
Released: 05 Mar 2004 Director: Åke Lindman Writers: Stefan Forss (screenplay), Harry Järv (diary), Benedict Zilliacus (screenplay) Actors: Tobias Zilliacus, Ilkka Heiskanen, Christoffer Weiss, Kim Gustafsson Genres: Drama, History, War
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Framom främsta linjen Reviews:

This is a dramatized real storyline about a Swedish speaking unit in the Finnish army, during the Finnish "Continuation war" which Finland fought vs the Soviet Union, in 1941-1944 to regain the zone that the Russians had gained in their attack on Finland in 1939-1940. Don't look for an elaborate plot, bigger than life story or any romantic involvement in this film. It doesn't really have a story and absolutely no romantic subplot. This is a description of a group of young boys on the front and their escapades. Everything has been done with the veterans to achieve max authenticity. If that means that the film is lame, so be it. I search it refreshingly different. However one needs to appreciate before watching this that this is a sort of drama documentary.The director who is also the producer wanted to create a real life movie while the veterans still were alive. He has done this, but some viewers seem to have expected a Hollywood drama. You won't receive that. You'll receive grueling scenes as they happened. I rather enjoyed this movie.PS. The fact that about 80 % of the spoken language in the movie is Swedish also seems to annoy some, but not the majority of the local Finnish viewers. But what can you do, this unit comprised of Swedish speaking troops, so this part needs to be accurate also.


I liked this movie for it's document-like storyline telling, and the fact that two veterans: Järv himself and other boy from the same unit were involved in making it, as advisor's. This shows in real storyline said exactly right and in the method death is described and fake blood is not spared on the wounded.Järv's own photographs - taken by himself with the camera he carried with him in the fight - are shown as he takes them in the film, and some black and white documentary clips are added to remind the viewer, this fight really did happen. It's a great touch, and a brave move, which could've flopped the movie. But it works.What I didn't like, was that Rambo-style Super Soldier Heroism shown on some war screens. Also Russian head on attacks are quite common in the film: "Don't test the trees or dive for cover! Just run at them! CHAAAARGE!" Then again. Soviet's were known to test such strategies (especially early in the war). Järv's groups heroic raids on opponent positions are also a fact of history.I will comment Triathlonwest's earlier comments, to correct a several facts. First of all Soviet Union didn't attack Finland in The Winter Fight because "Russia required land around Stalingrad to defend the town vs possible German attacks" - as Triathlonwest stated. There's plenty of land around Stalingrad. They demanded a buffer territory for LENINGRAD. Soviet Union also demanded Finland's nickel mines at Petsamo, and few military bases inside Finnish borders, and close to the capital Helsinki, which would've basically given the Soviets gratis pass to enter the city, if fight would've been soon declared. And to this comment: "The reason the Fins lost zone to the Russians were their stubbornness and refusal to compromise". Behind the scenes, and before Winter Fight (or the Russo-German war), the Soviets had a pact with Germany (The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) to share Europe between them. Germany would receive Western and Central Poland, and Western Europe, while Soviet Union had "claims" on Eastern Poland, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and it's another western neighbors. So the fight would've most likely started even if Finns would've agreed Soviet demands. Out of all countries included in this pact only Finland remained independent during and after the war. All thanks to Finnish stubbornness.


Lindman's movie shows a storyline of a Finnish platoon leader Harry Järv, who during the Fenno-Russian Fight of 1941-44 led few successful raids vs Russian strongpoints. Instead of any artistic ambitions, Lindman has meant his film to be a true-story documentary about one historical person. While the movie is a documentary drama, it lacks the horror and excitement one should expect from a fight film. This approach has its reasons, because the movie begins from the period of fight during which only small-scale action was carried out between Finns and Russians. The action in the Finnish front during period of 1942-43 mostly consisted of Finnish patrols making havoc at the Russian lines, Russian snipers annoying Finnish watchmen and such.The Finnish platoon leader Harry Järv appears in the movie as one of the most valiant troops there should be. He is not only nice soldier. He is also cultivated. He reads classical philosophy and is eager to share his knowledge with his men. As a platoon leader he is unlike those USMC centurions, because he leads by his example. He never tells "go!" but "come!". He speaks with his officers and boys both Swedish and Finnish.I call this movie propaganda only because it is so clean, although faithful depiction of current events. Lindman has had an intention to teach the Swedes about fight and explain why Soviet Union did not end up as a fresh neighbor for Sweden. It was rather geography and not politics at all that dragged Finland into the war! It could be admitted, that there was much worse in war, more blood and screaming, and all of the Finnish officers were not like Järv. There was however, plenty enough like him.As a whole, this is a special film. Not great, but nice and serves well all those who wish to know about history. Framom främstä linjen has many tiny features that didn't surface up during watching it for the first time. I only began to like the film only after watching it for the fourth time. For weapon freaks this film offers a true rarity: the German StuG IIIg appearing at one scene. The DVD could have had a commentary and/or trivia track, because only Finns are enough familiar with their history and nature of their army.



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