About the Film
A portrait of traditional Finnish American culture in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, highlighting the fragile community of memory connecting one with parents and grandparents. A 92-year-old grandfather asked his son and Finnish immigrant daughter-in-law to live on the farm and care for him. The barn will fall any day; the grandchildren are growing restless. This three-generation farm family works, celebrates, reflects and grieves together. FINNISH AMERICAN LIVES explores the meaning of family, ethnic history, aging, and intergenerational bonds. Contrasts between the immigrant elder, his American-born son, and the partially assimilated grandchildren illustrate continuity and change in the "sanua belt" of the Lake Superior Region. The film was completed in 1982.