Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 1998
Country: Finland
Run Time: 86 minutes

As America has its cowboys, Northern Europe has "log floaters," rough-hewn men who, every summer, manuever timber through the winding rivers of the rugged countryside to distant, waiting mills. And just as the cowboy mystique was outsized and distored by countless Hollywood westerns, so old-time Scandinavian log-floater films (knock on wood if you've seen one) used this occupation as a backdrop for romance, song, and melodrama. A SUMMER BY THE RIVER, however, is a realistic yet lyrical evocation of this floating life in 1950s Finland. The death of his young wife leaves Tenho and his 10-year-old son Topi without their state-issued apartment. Years ago the father worked as a log floater, and to make ends meet he decides to return to the river. But while Topi is affectionately tolerated by the log floaters, Tenho is now considered a clumsy city tenderfoot and must prove his worth on and off the treacherous, log-strewn water. In the midst of this, the villagers have had enough of the lusty laborers and their mischief. Through Topi's innocent eyes we see his father's travails and triumphs, in a drama of transcendent beauty, emotion, and scope. (In Finnish with English subtitles)

Markku P?l?nen

Markku Polonen

Kari Sara

Kari Sohlberg

Jukka Nyk?nen

Principal Cast
Simo Kontio, Pertti Koivula, Esko Nikkari, Anu Palevaara, Peter Franzen, Sulevi Peltola

Film Contact
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