Family Files

A woman from Lapland falls in love with a Viennese soldier during World War II, becomes pregnant and leaves Finland. She gives birth in Hamburg, but later becomes home-sick and returns to her country. The woman is Mari Soppela’s grandmother, the starting point of Soppela’s film, Family Files. Naturally, it is only the start of the film: in the Soppela family saga, it is merely one link in an endless chain.

The story of the grandmother entails something that labels later developments in the family. The family members have many names for it. They call it bad luck, the human condition or a curse, but someone also mentions a culture of silence. Shame and guilt are other forms of silence. They don’t have definable branches in the family tree, but have rather put down roots in the general atmosphere.

The film wants to talk about silence and end the cycle of guilt. It is reasonable to ask, if self-destruction ever really begins with oneself.

When life is paced with the deaths of loved-ones, death also takes root in one’s thoughts. Eventually, it seems somehow familiar, even kind and safe. When the counting of time stops, other measures and sums also cease to exist. Somewhere, there is a place where no one takes count – of fallen women, of children out of wedlock, of suicides or of failures.

Text: Suvi Annola / Translation: Liina Härkönen

Director Mari Soppela will be present at the screening.

Languages: Finnish
Subtitles: English



  • Name in Original Language: Perheeni tarina
  • Director: Mari Soppela
  • Country: Netherlands, Finland
  • Year: 2012
  • Length: 73 min
  • Age limit: S
  • Format: DCP
  • Cinematography: Timo Peltonen, Mari Soppela
  • Editing: Mari Soppela
  • Audio: Tero Malmberg
  • Music: Leo Anemaet
  • Production: Kees Kasander / The Kasander Film Company


  • Andorra: Sunday 1.2. at 13:00