TV-documentary Steel benders Trepak, the fi rst pa.. (TV-documentary Steel..)
TV-documentary Steel benders Trepak, the fi rst part of a two-part documentary The Builders of Karelia
(TV-documentary Steel bender’s Trepak, the fi rst part of a two-part documentary The Builders of Karelia)
Start date: Sep 30, 2001,
End date: Dec 30, 2002
Production House is a TV production company, founded in 1996, producing factual and fi ctive programmes including documentaries for several channels. Th e purpose of the project was to produce a TV documentary series called Karjalan rakentajat (Th e Builders of Karelia), about the recent past of East Finland, presenting how Kainuu, East and Southeast Finland and their Russian neighbouring region, now the Republic of Karelia, amalgamated into one huge implementation area of construction projects in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Th e meaning was to relate the goods exchange trade, or clearing commerce, between Finland and the former Soviet Union. Achievements: The project was implemented as expected. Notwithstanding a few exceptions, all desired interviews were completed, and the content turned out to be more extensive and thorough than originally expected. The interviews and arguments took the analysis of the documentary to unexpected depths in the hegemony of the goods exchange trade, which may appear strange given the present perspective. The interviewees were found and the available information from the archives on both sides of the border was collected by the long and thorough background phase, aiming at understanding the underlying political and economic grounds of the goods exchange trade of the time. The filming phase recorded the interviews and illustrated the content of the documentary. The post-production phases of the material were off -line and on-line editing, post-processing picture and sound, colour adjustment and changing the image ratio of the archive material to 16:9. The first documentary was told by civil servants, politicians and businessmen who recounted this commercial and political era by reference to its good and bad sides. Interviewees for the documentary were sought from both sides of the border, representing the Soviet Union and Finland at the time. The second documentary was told by construction workers from Kuhmo, who recounted the construction of Kostomuksha, that was one of the most important productions of the goods exchange trade. The aim of the documentary was to decipher the prevailing spirit of the time and what the trade relationship was based on. The documentary tried to shed light on the background of the present trade policy of Finland and Russia and whether Finland and the Finnish should look back on their recent past in search for answers to their problems in trade politics. The first documentary Idnkaupan (Flip Side of the Eastern Trade) was viewed in March 2003, and the second documentary Tositarina Menopaluu Kostamukseen (A True Story - Roundtrip Ticket to Kostomuksha) in April 2003. The documentaries were widely acclaimed by both the critics and viewers, and the largest national newspapers also wrote positive reviews. As per the programme exchange agreement, the Finnish Broadcasting Company forwarded the documentaries also to the Nordic channels, and the programmes were thereby broadcast at least in Sweden. The Finnish Broadcasting Company also repeated the broadcasts in 2005.
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