Elina - som om jag inte fanns

Klaus Härö
Finland, Sweden
Kjell Sundstedt
Natalie Minnevik / Bibi Andersson / Marjaana Maijala / Henrik Rafaelsen / Tind Soneby
Filmlance International


Elina 9 years old. Sweden in the early 1950s. Elina is a member of the Finnish-speaking minority living in northern Sweden. Her father, whom she loved dearly, died of tuberculosis a few years ago. Out in the moor just behind her house, Elina believes that she can still talk to her Dad. She is a very lonely girl. Because she was ill for so long, Elina is obliged to repeat a whole year at school. Her teacher,Ms.Holm, thinks that her new pupil is unkempt; she decides to take her in hand and turn her into neat and tidy schoolgirl.This entails speaking perfect Swedish, not using Finnish expressions and, above all, respecting persons of authority - especially her teacher. The shy Elina, proud and offended by so little attempt to understand her situation, rebels against the way Ms.Holm treats her. A battle of wills ensues, and Elina's only recourse is to refuse to cooperate. Nobody seems able to mediate between these two stubborn opponents. Again and again,Elina takes to wandering out into the moor to try and commune with her father. The situation becomes unbearable. Then, one day while out in the moor again, Elina sinks so deeply into the ground that it threatens to engulf her. At this moment Elina realises that she is not alone; she is loved and needed.When Elina goes to school the next morning, everything is quite different. Even Ms. Holm senses that her pupil will not be intimidated any longer.

Festivals & Academy awards and others

Berlin International Film Festival 2003
Crystal Bear
Prize of the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk Special Mention