THE MEEK OF THE EARTH

NUIJASOTA

By Joona TENA

YELLOW FILM & TV - as PROD

Historical - Development 2014

In the midst of a desperate peasant rebellion, a scullery maid spares
no measure to keep her son alive.

    • Year of production
    • 2014
    • Genres
    • Historical, Drama, Action/Adventure
    • Countries
    • FINLAND
    • Languages
    • FINNISH
    • Director(s)
    • Joona TENA
    • Writer(s)
    • Joona TENA
    • Synopsis
    • Finland, early winter of 1596. KAISA, a young scullery maid drudges in the castle of Turku, unaware of political games, war lords and peasant revolts. Her simple life is filled by hard work and raising alone her 6-year old son VILPPU. The boy’s father is an old, debauched nobleman SCHÖNFELDER, who occasionally visits her bed to satisfy his needs for a few coins.
      The castle and the country is run by the dictator KLAUS FLEMING, who narrowly escapes an assassination attempt. Framed by the real conspirators, the city bourgeoisie, Schönfelder becomes a scapegoat. As Fleming’s vengeance falls on his family, even his bastard son Vilppu becomes a target. The leaders of the bourgeois offer Kaisa a chance to save her son. An inconspicuous maid, she can help a prisoner escape from the castle. He is a peasant revolt leader, JAAKKO ILKKA.
      With Ilkka, Kaisa and Vilppu escape the northern provinces. They encounter a bitter, starving peasant people, waiting for Ilkka to lead them, just as the city bourgeois had calculated. Reluctantly, Kaisa and her child become part of a peasant revolt, THE CLUDGER WAR.
      Kaisa and Vilppu try to flee the war, but end up captured among the rebel peasants. Along with them, they are soon facing execution by Fleming. While the proud peasant warriors refuse to betray Ilkka, Kaisa will do it to save her son.
      Because she has access to Ilkka, Kaisa carries Fleming’s clandestine letter to the revolt leaders. It contains his promise to pardon the rebels, provided that they surrender and hand over Ilkka. But it’s only a deception to dismantle the rebellion. Fleming attacks while the peasants argue over the terms of the letter. The battle becomes a massacre.
      Kaisa and Ilkka escape north to his home village. There Ilkka decides to surrender, hoping to save his family. He is cruelly executed. Now the people’s hatred turns against Kaisa, the traitor. Beaten and shorn off her hair, she and Vilppu are only barely saved by POSSO, Ilkka’s farmhand. An orphan refugee himself, he shows her compassion and they spend a few happy weeks in a forest hut, away from the war.
      But their happiness is short lived. A new revolt is rising, and Fleming’s soldiers are hunting down the rebels. Posso is killed as Vilppu runs away, pursued by a soldier. At a riverbank, Vilppu is brought down by an arrow. In a complete shock, Kaisa is captured by the soldiers.
      Having lost everything, Kaisa drifts along with the ruthless soldiers. With no hope, no regard for herself, she serves as both their maid and prostitute. In the military camp. she eventually encounters Fleming one more time. Now age and disease have weakened the old dictator. Kaisa has a chance to take revenge. But she can’t, she’s not a killer. However, failing to kill him opens her a chance to escape.
      Kaisa starts wandering the destroyed villages, a wreck herself. She sees gangs of war orphans, fighting for the same meager food as she is. Among them, she finally finds Vilppu, who is still alive after all. The mother and her son are united again, scarred but alive. We leave them on a hazy field of snow, as future remains uncertain.
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