Teaser for Home and Country (2013)
A short film / video piece by Carl Sebastian Lindberg
”Home and Country” is based on interviews with the artist's aunt, the
author Ann-Mari Lindberg. The work portrays the major events of the
Second World War in Finland through the everyday experiences of
Ann-Mari as a child, and also how the war have influenced the values
of her generation.
Duration 18 min 41 sec
Home and Country, Directors statement
Home and Country relates the experiences of my aunt, the author Ann-Mari Lindberg, as a child during the Second World War in Finland. I wanted to portray the experiences of my aunt’s generation and what impact these have had on her and her values, because I believe that the experiences of earlier generations are in some way embedded in us, even though we might not know how.
The starting point of the work is microhistorical, I have wanted to recount small events from the life of a child, but through these also deal with the bigger historical events of the war.
For example, the breakout of the war is told through Ann-Mari's father’s purchase of gas masks for the entire family, and how the her mother sewed snow camouflage suits for the children – the same kind of camouflage suits worn by the soldiers at the front.
The alliance of Finland with Nazi Germany during the Continuation War is touched upon when Ann-Mari talks about how it felt to do the Nazi salute and march to the beat in the German School in Helsinki which she attended until 1944.
During the Continuation war Russian prisoners of war were placed to work on different farms, among these on Ann-Mari's fathers farm. By getting to know these prisoners Ann-Mari's perception of Russians changed, and afterwards it was difficult for her to see them merely as enemies.
I have wanted to use the microhistorical and fragmented perspective and narrative mode of the film as a device to avoid the glorification of war experiences – and thereby the glorification of war.
In the film I have used photographs from family albums, Ann-Mari Lindberg’s childhood drawings and archive photos from the German School, as well as excerpts from war-time newsreels by the Finnish Defence Forces. The newsreels are blatantly propagandist and racist, likening the Russians to rats and lice.