Is Sisu based on a true story? Finnish film explores the Lapland War
Is the upcoming Finnish action movie Sisu based on a true story or is it a fictional depiction of the relatively unknown Lapland War?
The trailer for the upcoming action movie Sisu has gone viral in the past few days thanks to its brutal and gory fight sequences, with the tagline of ‘The most fun you can have watching Nazis get destroyed’ making a notable impression with fans.
However, now that excited fans have calmed down from the initial hype that this John Wick-style slaughter generated, many are curious about the movie’s origins.
Specifically, is Sisu based on a true story or is it a purely fictional version of the often-overlooked Lapland War?
Is Sisu based on a true story?
No, Sisu is not based on a true story; however, the Lapland War, in which the movie is set during, was a very real conflict fought between the Fins and Nazi Germany in the later stages of World War 2.
Sisu tells the story of Aatami Korpi, a former Finnish commando who finds gold in the Lapland wasteland, only to face a grueling 500-mile-plus journey to the nearest bank. Unfortunately, after coming into contact with a “Nazi patrol led by SS Obersturmführer Bruno Helldorf, a breathtaking and gold-hungry chase through the destroyed and mined Lapland wilderness begins.”
In reality, there is no documented recording of either a Aatami Korpi or Bruno Helldorf existing at this point; although the wider context of both the Lapland War and Lapland Gold Rush were very real.
The Lapland War was fought between September 1944 – April 1945, and had a rather turbulent origin. The Finnish army had previously been working with the Germans in their fight against the Soviet Union during the Continuation War; however, a deal was brokered between the allies to see Finland expel all German soldiers from the territory in 1944.
Whilst the removal of German forces from Finland was initially peaceful, it took a violent turn following increased Soviet pressure to oust all German soldiers. The end result was ultimately a Finnish victory, with the war costing more than 4,300 casualties to the Germans and 3,900 casualties for the Fins.
Moreover, ‘Sisu’ is also a real term that is used to describe extraordinary determination in the face of extreme adversity; if you have watched the trailer, you certainly understand this concept.
When will Sisu release in theatres?
Sisu is scheduled to premiere in theatres on April 28, 2023.
However, this will technically be the film’s second theatrical run, having made its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2022 and a limited cinema run in Finland from January 27, 2023.
Director Jalmari Helander told Deadline how it was always his dream to make an original action film in Finland.
“To make an action film in Finland has been a dream of mine since I was 10 years old. Finally I am in a situation where I can fulfill my dream and make an epic, action-packed survival story which takes place in World War II.” – Director Jalmari Helander
The cast of Sisu includes:
- Jorma Tommila as Aatami Korpi
- Aksel Hennie as SS Obersturmführer Bruno Helldorf
- Jack Doolan as Wolf
- Mimosa Willamo as Aino
- Onni Tommila as Schutze
- Arttu Kapulainen as Rower
- Tatu Sinisalo as Squad Leader
By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]