Finnish broadcaster YLE outlines gender inequality in Finnish cinema

The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle has looked into gender inequality in Finnish cinema and published a report on its findings.

It found that men outnumber women two to one throughout cinema’s history in Finland. Between the 1970s and 2000s, no women were included in the top ten listings of actors.

However, the trend is shifting and women now appear in the top ten list of the current decade. Four female actors appear in the list: Elina Knihtilä, Krista Kosonen, Laura Birn and Iina Kuustonen.

Looking back to the early years of Finnish cinema, legendary actors Siiri Angerkoski and Rauha Rentola, who worked on hundreds of Finnish films in the 1940s and 1950s, hardly ever had the starring role.

“They were basically filling in basic parts in the film: mums, aunts, waitresses, a woman at a party or in a scene. They needed a woman in the room to say a few lines,” says Outi Hupaniittu, a former post-doc researcher of Finnish film history at the University of Turku.

You can read the full report (in English) at the Yle website. 

Image source: Yle

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.