Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Finnish American Heritage Center to present film on Finnish immigration to Canada March 22

HANCOCK --The Finnish American Heritage Center at Finlandia University will present two special screenings of Under the Red Star (Canada, 2011, 79 minutes) at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 22.

Poster for Under the Red Star courtesy Finnish American Heritage Center. Click on poster for larger version.

In 1910, Finnish immigrants built the Finnish Labour Temple in Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay). In its early days it was inseparably linked to the activities of Canadian labor and the left. The Big Finn Hall was a place where culture and politics came together. Written and directed by Kelly Saxberg (Letters from Karelia), this film integrates archival footage, photos and fictionalized scenes to bring to life the lively and dramatic past of the early years of Finnish immigration to Canada.

Under the Red Star tells the story of the struggle for a just society in early twentieth-century Canada. The film is presented in English and Finnish (with English subtitles). Under the Red Star premiered at the Northern Character International Film Festival in Murmansk, Russia, and also received the People’s Choice Award at the Bay Street Film Festival in Thunder Bay.

Ms. Saxberg will be in attendance at these screenings, marking the first showings in the United States, and offering an opportunity for the audience to engage in discussion following the film. Student groups are especially encouraged to attend. To learn more about the film, visit The Finnish American Heritage Center is located on the campus of Finlandia University at 435 Quincy Street in Hancock. To obtain more information on the Hancock screenings, or to RSVP for class groups, please call Hilary Virtanen, Public Programming Coordinator at the Finnish American Heritage Center, at 906-487-7505.

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