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Abandoned Houses, Empty Homes (2000)

Hylätyt talot, autiot pihat (original title)
Summer 1944 in Finnish Karelia; after a long lull, the Soviet army launches an overwhelming offensive that throws everything into disarray. Martta has barely time to marry Aarne before she ... See full summary »


Lauri Törhönen


Lauri Törhönen (screenplay), Laila Hietamies (novel) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Director: Pekka Parikka
Stars: Taneli Mäkelä, Vesa Vierikko, Timo Torikka


Credited cast:
Mats Långbacka Mats Långbacka ... Captain Aarne Heikkilä
Jonna Järnefelt Jonna Järnefelt ... Martta Heikkilä
Sari Puumalainen Sari Puumalainen ... Helmi Elisa Karhu
Carl-Kristian Rundman Carl-Kristian Rundman ... Medical Major Pekka Karjalainen
Ville Keskilä Ville Keskilä ... Private Arttu Kivojainmäki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eija-Elina Bergholm Eija-Elina Bergholm ... Hilma
Karoliina Blackburn Karoliina Blackburn
Jesper Grimbergen Jesper Grimbergen ... Hilkka's baby
Olli Halonen Olli Halonen
Jevgeni Haukka Jevgeni Haukka ... Russian Prisoner
Anu Heiskanen Anu Heiskanen ... Hanna
Ilkka Heiskanen Ilkka Heiskanen ... Dr. Sulamaa
Pekka Huotari Pekka Huotari ... Dr. Salonen
Maria Järvenhelmi ... Leena
Jari Järvimaa Jari Järvimaa ... Chauffeur Laukkanen (as Jallu Järvimaa)


Summer 1944 in Finnish Karelia; after a long lull, the Soviet army launches an overwhelming offensive that throws everything into disarray. Martta has barely time to marry Aarne before she is evacuated with relatives Hilkka who has just given birth to a son Helmi Elisa, the children, and their grandmother. In the confusion of the retreat, the women try to hold together and cross the paths of Aarne and Arttu, the only surviving brother of war-widow Helmi Elisa. Implacably, war takes its toll of suffering and death among civilians and soldiers. Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@nokia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


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Release Date:

11 February 2000 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Abandoned Houses, Empty Homes See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamina, Finland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Black and White (archive material)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Pekka Parikka was original choice to direct but died before production began. Producer Jörn Donner replaced him with Lauri Törhönen. See more »

Alternate Versions

In addition to theatrical release, the film has been re-edited into three part mini-series. Additional material in mini-series is mostly archive films about Karelian refugees. See more »


Referenced in Matka suomalaiseen elokuvaan: Muistoja sodasta (2006) See more »


Music by George de Godzinsky
Arranged by George de Godzinsky
Lyrics by Vera Valtonen
Performed by Harmony Sisters & George de Godzinsky
Courtesy of Imperial
See more »

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User Reviews

An ordinary, well filmed romantic story of people escaping an enemy attack during war.
20 February 2000 | by BasiliusSee all my reviews

The movie is based on a book I haven't read, but I think the story is nothing new, nothing surprising. Except, possibly the main characters' devotion to each other. It is summer 1944 at the Finnish eastern border during the Second World War. The War has been "phony" for few years, but now the hell breaks loose and the Soviet Army attacks with strong forces. Civilians are being evacuated and the Finnish army tries to contain the Soviet onslaught. A Captain gets married just before the storm and leaves for the front. The farm run by the wife and some other women, one of whome gives a birth that makes moving them more difficult, is abandoned forever and the women are supposed to run away from the danger zone. People go back and forth, largely in search for each other despite the danger, few gets killed and others fell in love in the chaos. Great sceneries, okay acting, fitting music, some fresh skin from sauna. A worthwhile investment for people interested in history and the areas in question. Nevertheless, the movie is not a historical war movie but rather a romantic drama in a historical setting.

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