Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival


Mother Land

When filmmaker Mari Soppela took her children and husband to live for a year on a sacred mountain in her native Finland, she was fulfilling a lifelong dream to share the arctic wilderness of her childhood with her family. But when years later her children turn the camera onto her, she is forced to confront her motivation for filming their lives in this searching and searingly honest cinematic exploration of identity, belonging and motherhood. Filmed over the course of 27 years, Mother Land challenges us all to examine the landscapes we carry within us and the narratives we create to make sense of our lives.

Production notes

The year in Lapland offered them new kinds of experiences. The children experienced a snowy winter, learned downhill skiing and snowmobiling, and went to a remote, small but communal village school. During that time, Soppela thought about her own identity and her longing for her roots. — “My dream was to share a piece of my childhood with my kids, a piece of my inner world.” The light in the North, the silence of the polar night, the glow of the campfire, sleigh rides over the frozen lake. These experiences were a part of Soppela’s life – and now also of her children’s.

Marita Nyrhinen (translated by Inari Ylinen)

Original Title: Äidinmaa
Language: Finnish, Dutch, English
Subtitles: English
Length: 80 min
Age Limit: S
Year: 2022
Production Country: Finland, United Kingdom

Director: Mari Soppela
Producer: Mari Soppela
Production Company: LPMA Productions
Screenplay: Mari Soppela
Editing: Mari Soppela, Giles Gardner
Cinematographer: Mari Soppela, Leo Anemaet
Music: Ilari Anemaet, Leo Anemaet
Sound Design: Leo Anemaet