The Cinematic Land of Tapio: Suburban Finland Reimagined

Abstract

The paper examines how the suburban spaces of Tapiola in Finland are cinematically reimagined in Jaakko Pakkasvirta’s film The Green Widow (1968). The film was produced during a time of rapid urbanization, the development of the Finnish welfare nation, and the birth of the Finnish suburb. The design, renaming, and construction of the Tapiola area especially became an excercise in creating a visual representation of the welfare policies and thus quite literally contributed to the building of a nation. This official vision of Tapiola is challenged by Pakkasvirta’s The Green Widow. The film focuses on the lived experience of the suburb from the point of view of a housewife and constructs a very different visual world. The relationship between the concrete built environment and the cinematically-imagined one become competing versions of reality.

Keywords

welfare state, de Certeau, Tapiola, Finland, suburbs, cinema

How to Cite

Viitanen, E., (2012) “The Cinematic Land of Tapio: Suburban Finland Reimagined”, Opticon1826 13, 6-13.

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Essi Viitanen (Department of Scandinavian Studies, SELCS, UCL)

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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