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26 January 2019: The Diary of a Worker


The Diary of a Worker
Risto Jarva, 1967, 92 min, 35mm
Finnish with English subtitles

Released in the midst of an extremely grey period in the Finnish cinema, The Diary of a Worker was considered a revelation: the film had discovered realism, living people and vital milieu, none of them packaged in the trappings of entertainment; and what is more, Risto Jarva's work seemed to approach the standard of the best new European cinema. And it still holds up: its realism is not merely grey naturalism but a multi-levelled depiction in which dream, imagination, memories and various levels of reality converge. Over and above this, the film stands as a conscious compendium of turning-points in independent Finland: the Civil War of 1918, the traumatic wars, the history of the class struggle. The film renders particularly touching the strong presence of two people, a "marriage across class distinctions": a labourer (played by an amateur, the painter Paul Osipow) and an office worker (played by a professional, Selina Salo).

Part of Antti Alanen and Ehsan Khoshbakht's Masterpieces of Finnish Cinema season

With thanks to Ehsan Khoshbakht, Antti Alanen, The Finnish Finnish Institute London and KAVI for making this programme possible.

Supported by:


BOX OFFICE (12:00 - 23.30): 02037847970






The Diary of a Worker Saturday 26.01.19 8:30 pm Book