Tom of Finland
fiction / 2017 / Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany / col. / 116 min.
Director: Dome Karukoski
Screenplay: Aleksi Bardy
Photography: Lasse Frank
Editor: Harri Ylönen
Music: Hildur Gudnadóttir, Lasse Enersen
Cast: Pekka Strang, Lauri Tilkanen, Jessica Grabowsky, Taisto Oksanen, Seumas Sargent, Jakob Oftebro, Niklas Hogner, Werner Daehn, Troy T. Scott
A biography of the gay icon and artist that changed the world with his paintings, forcing people to shift the way they think about differences. – Touko Laaksonen, a decorated officer, returns home from World War II and quickly finds out that life in Finland during peacetime proves equally distressing. The city of Helsinki is rampant with homophobia and all men are being pressured to marry women and have children. Touko finds refuge in his art, specializing in stylized homoerotic drawings of muscular men. His work – made famous by his signature 'Tom of Finland' – became the emblem of a generation of men and fanned the flames of a gay revolution. However, it has always raised the question of whether it is art or rather pornography. In his film, the director Dome Karukoski gives us a pleasantly simple answer: Of course it is both.