Sakari Toiviainen: Kadonnutta paratiisia etsimässä [In search of a lost paradise]
Kadonnutta paratiisia etsimässä. Markku Lehmuskallion ja Anastasia Lapsuin
[In search of a lost paradise. The films of Lehmuskallio and Anastasia Lapsui]
Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2009. 274 p., ill.
€ 28, paperback
Markku Lehmuskallio (born 1938) is a filmmaker and photographer who since 1973 has made 18 full-length feature films, as well as a number of shorter ones. A half of his work is a collaborative venture with his wife Anastasia Lapsui, who is a native of the Nenets region in Arctic Russia. The main subjects of his films are the relationship between people and nature, and indigenous cultures throughout the northern hemisphere. Lehmuskallio’s early work reflects his activity as a pioneer of the green movement, as his films from that period deal with the environmental threat to the forests. Lehmuskallio has also directed fiction films, including the first to be made in the Nenets language, the award-winning Seven songs from the tundra. He has documented the conflicts between indigenous and national cultures, such as the destruction of the environment of the Siberian peoples in the process of gas and oilfield exploration. The filmographer Sakari Toiviainen had access to original material ranging from brittle old reels of film to diaries; Lehmuskallio’s own voice comes through clearly in the text.
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