🇫🇮 ALL THE SINS S2 🇫🇮
ALL THE SINS S2 (2019) aka Kaikki synnit is a Finnish TV crime, drama, mystery series available on All4 Walter Presents U.K., PBS Masterpiece US & Can, Binge Aus. 6 x 45 min episodes. 18 Cert UK. Finnish with subtitles.
“Set in 1999, fifteen years before the story of season 1, Jussi Ritola, police officer in a small town of [sic] Varjakka in Northern Finland, starts to investigate the death of two of his wife’s colleagues. The victims had been developing a revolutionary touch screen technology in the company of a local businessman and member of the town’s conservative religious community. The whole town has got to take part in the international technology boom. As Ritola investigates the deaths of the couple, the religious community starts to protect its members…” Wikipedia
Lauri Malmivaara as Anu Leinonen
Matti Ristinen as Jussi Ritola
Johannes Holopainen as Lauri Räihä
Inka Kallén as Meeri Ritola
Maria Sid as Sanna Tervo
Jari Virman as Pietilä
Kreeta Salminen as Teija Niemitalo
Risto Tuorila as Matti Mustpää
Eeli Jurvelin as Aaro Leppihalme
Annika Aapalahti as Heidi Leppihalme
Jukka Peltola as Kari Leppihalme
Matti Harju as Hannu Räihä
Tuula Väänänen as Maarit Räihä
Director: Mika Ronkainen
Creator: Merja Aakko & Mika Ronkainen
Writers: Merja Aakko & Mika Ronkainen
Cinematographer: Jani Kumpulainen
Music: Jussi Jaakonaho & Samuli Putro
Editor: Tambet Tasuja
Make-Up Designer: Kati Koskela, tattoos Lasse Ilano
Production Design: Päïvi Kettunen
Costume Designer: Anu Pirila
All the Sins S2 was filmed before S1.
Madonna-Whore Complex: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna–whore_complex
The title music for All the Sins is by Aino Venna.
Filming locations include: Oulu, Lumijoki and Tyrnävä all in Finland
Information about Conservative Laestadianism:
Finns and the sauna: https://medium.com/the-politics-practices-and-poetics-of-openness/conversations-from-the-sauna-on-privacy-openness-nudity-and-coming-together-abeff0f2530a
“Can all sins be forgiven?”
Having rewatched and written a review of season 1 of All the Sins it was a given that I would do the same for season 2. Would this show have as much, or even more “Finnish weird” this season?
It was an interesting and effective choice to have the later events of season 1 first as this adds considerably to the dramatic irony as we know (but the characters do not) what will have happened to them by the time 15 years have passed. Had a more conventional approach been taken with the earlier events preceding the latter then this irony would have been lost. It makes a change to have a show that does not use continual flashbacks to explain characters and their stories.
We do see our two lead characters from season 1 and while Sanna is only seen briefly winning an award as a police officer, Lauri is a more frequent character. It is quite an odd experience knowing what was going on with him at this point in his life and what he was going to do and the repercussions of that decision.
We also see a lot more this time (literally and figuratively) of Jussi Ritola and it is chiefly his story that is told. Do you remember that he failed to mention that his wife was in prison for a double murder back in season 1? (Funny that, as it turns out).
He is a man with a tragedy hidden in his past. A tragedy that has had a lasting and unhealthy impact upon his emotional development. He has vivid, surrealistic, often Freudian dreams. Just to complicate matters even further his boss and another colleague are Laestadian, with their own distinct biases and possible corruption.
Is Jussi a good guy, a good son and husband, a good policeman? We certainly get a chance to put his damaged psyche under a microscope by the end of this! As an aside, I thought the “love-hate” relationship his mother has with her neighbour and her frank explanation of it was hilarious.
The opening credits of All the Sins S2, as with S 1, are cleverly constructed with the season established (snow, frosted stubble in the field that was lush as green in season 1) and cows replaced by horses. As with the first season the horses play a part in the story, in fact, a bigger part than did the bovines in the first season.
Because All the Sins S2 is set 15 years before we see less decay in the images. There is a deflated football (a representation of a lost childhood perhaps) and a fresh arrangement of flowers on a laid table with the year 2000 goblets. A chair that was featured in the first season but painted blue and not weathered. An electric piano that will feature in the story this time.
A Barbie doll is shown wearing a golden bikini (the “hussy”) and holding a tray (of “temptations”) in contrast to the picture of the Madonna and her sacred heart (see Madonna-Whore Complex in Notes). For women are, once again, one focus of this story. We see an attempted “rebellion” of many of the women of the town and, needless to say, this is not well-received by the restrictive and male-dominated Laestadian community.
The shooting of the crows as vermin whilst feeding other birds is highly symbolic (remember the birds in season 1?)
It is worth noting the title for each of the episodes as several are Biblical references: “Contending with the Serpent”, “Desecrator of the Temple”, “Anointing of the Sick” and “The Fall”.
Once again the cinematography and locations in this show are stunning. The music this season comprises chiefly guitar with single notes and “off” sounds forming the basis of the score (a great contrast to the piano of season 1) which gives it a more rural atmosphere. I must say that at times it looked absolutely freezing albeit it is quite beautiful.
I found all the performances in this extremely good from both main and supporting actors. I thought Jari Virman as Pietilä was outstanding as was Matti Ristinen as Jussi Ritola. The younger members of the cast, especially Eeli Jurvelin as Aaro, greatly impressed.
That question at the start of this review is the most important in both seasons of All the Sins. What constitutes a sin? Which sins can (or should) be forgiven? Where do individual guilt and forgiveness of one’s self fit in? Do sins deserve punishment and, if so, do the punished need to know why they are being punished? Who should do the punishing? Where do contrition and confession fit in? Are some sins unforgivable?
Lies and betrayal play a major part in this story and by the end, I was pondering who had been punished and was this punishment fair. Was it revenge rather than fair punishment? Is it right for an individual to dish out punishment? What about those who did truly awful things (toxins at work for example) who appear to get through unscathed?
Personally, the most interesting character and storyline of All the Sins S2 was that of the ex-mercenary and quite probably war criminal, Pietilä and his connection to the women’s group. His “addiction”, the haunting dreams he has, his guilt. Is remorse part of being worthy of forgiveness?
The scenes with Pietilä are where we see a lot of religious (specifically Christian) symbolism with washing, arms out in a cross, the tattoos, the wounds… Are all sins forgivable?
I can heartily recommend this series bearing in mind, however, that suicide is shown more than once this season. I am very much looking forward to season 3 arriving on Walter Presents (hopefully) next year.
1 win and 4 nominations:
Göteborg Film Festival (2019) Nordisk Film & TV Fond Prize, Annual award for outstanding writing of a Nordic drama series ~ Mika Ronkainen & Merja Aakko
Kultainen Venla (2020) Best Actor ~ Johannes Holopainen
Zurich Film Festival (2020) Golden Eye Best International Series ~ Mika Ronkainen, Merja Aakko & Ilkka Matila
Trailer Season 2:
Review of All the Sins season 1:
All the Sins S1: A Non-Spoiler Review
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