Popular music from Vittula (film)

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German title Popular music from Vittula
Original title Popular music from Vittula
Country of production Finland , Sweden
original language Swedish
Publishing year 2004
length 100 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Reza Bagher
script Reza Bagher
Erik Norberg
production Joachim Stridsberg
Katinka Faragó
Markus Selin
music Halfdan E
Lars Daniel Terkelsen
camera Robert Nordström
cut Fredrik Morheden
Anders Refn

Popular music from Vittula ( Swedish original title: Popular music från Vittula ) is a film by director Reza Bagher . It was filmed in Finland and Sweden in 2004 based on the novel of the same name by Swedish author Mikael Niemi .


Matti and his childhood friend Niila grew up in Pajala in the 60s and 70s , a place in the border region between Sweden and Finland, which is popularly known as "Vittulajänkkä" (Vittula: vulgar language for the female genital, jänkkä: moor) . The film deals with different topics: The two protagonists discover their love for rock 'n' roll and with it the world that exists outside of Pajala. They go out of their way to form a band in the remote region. The film also deals with growing up in the deserted area amid drinking parties, religious fanaticism and the family. Matti and Niila's families couldn't be more different: Matti only has one sister and relatively tolerant parents. Niila speaks Finnish at home, has many siblings and is regularly beaten by his father. The two have something in common that they consider to be a friendship.


“The film adaptation of a grotesque novel removes any charm from the bizarre, nostalgic story and shows little sense of nuance. The ' Coming of Age ' story of the original serves primarily as a string of coarse, sometimes cynical ideas. "

“The Iranian-Swedish director Reza Bagher, to whom Northern European primitive mankind is probably no more familiar than his audience, treats the premodern material not without historicizing respect, but consistently ironically. His unobtrusive, cheerful Pippi Longstocking of the world of his forefathers is entertaining and harmless in every respect: intelligent folklore. The film does not miss the Swedish novel Popular Music from Vittula by Mikael Niemi, a very successful, heartily simple-minded story from the point of view of a young person who lives on the edge of the world. "

"Bagher emotionally portrays the crisis of an ambivalent relationship that moves throughout the film between an ordinary boyfriend and a hidden love affair and fails because the interests of the two protagonists are increasingly difficult to reconcile."

- Michael Kienzl : critic.de

“Basically, however, the film always remains on the surface: popular music is less a well-composed novel of development than the cheerful, contemplative story of a friendship, illuminated by a loose chain of weird and crooked episodes. We are spared hints of psychological pseudorealism. The anecdotal narrative style, the joy of the excessive and vulgar inevitably lead to coarsening and thus to a film that follows a somewhat undirected dramaturgy. But that hardly spoils the fun of this amusing village comedy. "

- Sebastian Handke : The daily mirror


  • Niemi, Mikael: Popular music from Vittula . btb 2002.

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for popular music from Vittula . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , January 2006 (PDF; test number: 104 771 K).
  2. ^ Popular music from Vittula. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed January 6, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. Iris Radisch: Wide wild world. Die Zeit, January 19, 2006, accessed on November 23, 2012 .
  4. Michael Kienzl: Review on critic.de on January 19, 2006, accessed on November 28, 2012
  5. Sebastian Handke: Review in Der Tagesspiegel on January 19, 2006

Web links