Anna-Liisa is a farmer’s daughter, about to marry Johannes, who comes to visit her at the farm. The god-fearing family is happy for her, but Anna-Liisa has a dark secret, which is revealed in flashbacks. We are moved t...展开o a lake where Mikko, the former farm-hand, is working as a log-floater. He remembers when he met Anna-Liisa at a dance. They row home in the moonshine, the girl is seduced beneath a birch tree by the shore – while the rowing-boat drifts away. She gets pregnant, Mikko runs away and she kills the child. Mikko’s mother helps her to clear the traces. Now the farm-hand’s mother has a hold on the farmer’s daughter, and when she hears about the marriage with Johannes three years later, she threatens the girl. Mikko comes home and wants to marry Anna-Liisa. She tells her relatives everything. When she tries to drown herself, Johannes saves her. She finds salvation. When the wedding is announced, Anna-Liisa declares that she has deciced to serve her penalty. End.
This is an interesting silent movie in the Northeuropean tradition created by Victor Seastrom, with melancholy people in symbiosis with nature. The scenery is great – characteristic Finnish landscape and farms. I really recommend this movie!
Eva Vikstrom at archive.org
Anna-Liisa was the first Finnish film deemed “unsuitable for the underage”. You may notice while watching that the intertitles where the crux of the plot is explained are, in one case, so blurred that they become unreadable (an unlikely coincidence), and in the other instance they’ve been replaced by more modern title cards. Although the film was made in 1922, the original play dates back to the end of the 19th c.