FINNISH HAPPINESS took off as a TV program devised by a working group of six women that would deal with the elements of happiness through poetic means. The six of us, Nina Honkanen, Tarja-Tuulikki Tarsala, Maarit Peltomaa, Helena Ahonen, Annu Kekäläinen and myself got to know each other during the Kassandra project led by Ritva Siikala. There, we conceived and implemented a small performance called “Vietnamese Happiness”, based on poems by Vietnamese women. During the process, we began to think more deeply about Finnish happiness. The year was 1998.
YLE was interested in our idea of Finnish happiness and wanted to build a 12-part summer series based on it. Our team was given five episodes instead of one. It gave birth to five 30-minute episodes; Happy Island, Together, Son in Law from Africa, Asser Florida’s Migratory Bird and Prosperity of the Chinese.
Directed by: Riitta Riihonen (nowadays Rask)
Scripting: as a group work
Cinematographer: Kimmo Koskela
Editor: Akke Eklund
Produced by: Art and Media House, Kimmo Koskela