|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Originaltitel:||Tom of Finland|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 116 Min|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Touko Laaksonen (Pekka Strang) has a problem: He is gay. And this is not only a sin in Finland shortly after the Second World War, but also illegal. And since he doesn't want to go to jail, he has to hide his homosexuality - even from his sister Kaija (Jessica Grabowski), from whom he never had any secrets. In order to realize himself, Touko begins to draw pictures of gay men who live out their sexuality proudly and freely. When he falls in love with his colleague Veli (Lauri Tilkanen), the two men start a relationship in secret. Touko is inspired by his partner to publish his work. Not in Finland, of course, but abroad. Under the pseudonym Tom of Finland, his pictures travel via Berlin to Los Angeles, where they soon begin an undreamt-of triumphal march. And suddenly Touko becomes a symbolic figure for an entire generation of gay men…
"Tom of Finland" tells the true story of the Finnish artist Touko Lakksonen, whose drawings made him one of the most influential figures in gay culture in the 20th century. Filmmaker Dome Karukoski manages very well to create an oppressive atmosphere, which makes it understandable how much homosexuals in Finland had to live in constant fear of persecution after the Second World War and how liberating it must have been for Touko to experience a comparatively liberal way of dealing with his gayness on his first visit to the USA.
The actors are consistently convincing and the design of the film is also absolutely coherent. Nevertheless, it would have been helpful, especially with the time jumps, to know in which year the events shown take place. You can guess it with a little knowledge of politics and contemporary history, but the fact that Karukoski does not give exact dates can cause confusion in some moments.
However, this is only a small flaw in an otherwise very successful biopic, which is more than just the story of an important man. It is also a blazing plea for personal freedom and an ode to great love. All this in one movie - a "sight worth seeing" more than deserves!
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