Sisu – need to know

When the Nazis steal a Finnish prospector's gold in 1944 they get more than they bargained for.

What’s this?

During the last desperate days of WWII, a solitary prospector crosses paths with Nazis on a scorched-earth retreat in northern Finland. When the Nazis steal his gold, they quickly discover they have just tangled with the wrong guy.

Who’s in it?

Jorma Tommila, Askel Hennie and Jack Doolan.

Who directs?

Sisu was written and directed by Jalmari Helander, who also directed Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010).

What classification is Sisu?

Sisu is rated R for extreme, over-the-top violence and heavy gore … it’s gonna get nasty …

What’s the run time?

91 minutes.

Is there a trailer?

What does ‘sisu’ mean?

According to the film’s trailer blurb: ‘While there is no direct translation for the Finnish word ‘sisu’ this legendary ex-commando will embody what sisu means: a white-knuckled form of courage and unimaginable determination in the face of overwhelming odds.’

Any other trivia?

According to IMDB: ‘Most of the dialogue is spoken by German characters, but they are voiced in English. The small amount of Finnish dialogue is in Finnish, with English subtitles.’

Read: Cheat sheet: Oppenheimer

Do the critics like it?

They sure do. Currently, Sisu has a 94% critics rating and 88% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Wendy Ide of The Observer gets right to the heart of the matter:

Sometimes all you want is a grizzled Finnish gold prospector relentlessly slaughtering cartoon evil Nazis in a variety of inventive and messy ways.

The Observer

Do say

It’s not about who starts the fight, but how you Finnish.

Don’t say

I think it’s just the title but I can’t get Sussudio by Phil Collins out of my head.

Where and when can I watch it?

Sisu is in Australian cinemas from 27 July.

Read more Cheat Sheets on ScreenHub.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites