Majuri, Lasse
Title:Save Private Perkola. Pelastakaa private Perkola, kuningasjätkä kulkureiden
Published in:Jokinen, Arto: Man and Change. Themes of Critical Studies on Men
Pages:266 - 289
Publisher:Tampere University Press. Vammalan Kirjapaino
Place:Vammala Finland
Type:Published works
Keywords:war films masculinity violence sexuality
No electronic version available.

      The article analyses Lieutenant Eero Perkola's masculinity and its construction in relation to other men (Russians, cowards, heros) and to women in a famous Finnish film called Rukajärven tie. (Rukajärvi Road) Men in the film prove their manhood primarily to the other men and also to the women who are at home and belong to home. Friendships between men are described in a rough way in order to reject any doubts about homosexuality. Finnish soldiers are also compared to the Russian soldiers who are seen as dirty, ugly men who kill women and aged people. The otherness is constructed between Finnish soldiers, too, and a man who cries symbolises a lost nation. The main character, Eero, cries however, too, which might mean a shift away from the mythical image of a toughface man. In the war, killing is a prove of one's manhood and honour. Majuri sees the violence, however, as a social relationship which has no monocausal explanation. According to him, killing is
      sometimes sublimated lovemaking, satisfying the lust. (See also Kaufman 1987, 21.) Homosexuality is denied and killing is a channel for heterosexuals to react to the strange impulse. In the film, the narratives of killing and lovemaking are constituted of same elements: fire, night, wordless ecstasy etc. But there are some differences, too: the killing scenes are filmed in such a way that women do not identify themselves with the killers, and thus the film reproduces the image that women are not violent.
Last Modified: 15.04.2002