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Introducing the Finns – a "people with a future"

Made in 1965 by the Fennada-Filmi production company, the promotional film "People with a future" portrays Finland as a modern utopia.

A Finnish-language version of this article can be found here.

Apparently, pen friends abroad have wrong ideas about Finland, and the film is "an attempt to show what life is like here."

Through Fennada's lens, Finland is a spotless Nordic paradise where the sun always seems to shine. Society is organized with such competence and thoroughness as to ensure every citizen a happy life from cradle to grave.

Finland is often touted as an ideal place to raise children. This notion carries the film as well, with adolescents playing all the roles. The kids greet us in Helsinki and show us around the metropolitan area.

Finnish babies are well taken care of; kindergartens, nurseries and children's day homes are provided to help families where both parents work outside the home. Finns are born into a society-minded and egalitarian democracy where women gained equal voting rights in 1906, second in the world after New Zealand.

These fortunate people are also blessed with the proximity of nature. Although Lapland is admittedly a romantic and beautiful region, Lakeland is also beautiful and many people have summer cottages there. Even city dwellers "love airspace and peace" and enjoy the lush surroundings of Finnish cities.

We are shown scenes from southern and central Helsinki as well as Tapiola, the architecturally significant garden city of Espoo. For a relatively small capital, Helsinki's urban life is hectic. Oddly, the narrator even boasts that during rush hours, the congestion can match any large metropolis.

Wth children running around, swimming and playing in nearly every shot, one begins to wonder if they ever bother showing up at their world-renowned schools. At the time of the film's production, Finland was not yet making headlines with its PISA-topping students, though introduction of the comprehensive school system was already in preparation.

As sport and physical training are considered an important part of school programs, pupils are seen improving their physical health via Finnish baseball, the national sport.

Pojat hiekkarannalla
Pojat hiekkarannalla Picture by: Elävä arkisto, Fennada-Filmi kuvakaappaus elävä arkisto
Lapset keinusssa
Lapset keinusssa Picture by: Elävä arkisto, Fennada-Filmi kuvakaappaus
Naurava tyttö
Naurava tyttö Picture by: Elävä arkisto, Fennada-Filmi kuvakaappaus
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