2017 will see the release of the first of two movies about Tom of Finland – the Finish artist who’s work is so synonymous with the gay leatherman’s world.
This movie, directed by Dome Karukoski (considered to be one of the most successful Finnish film directors) will be released in Finish cinemas in February 2017 before getting limited releases worldwide.
The story tells of Touko Laaksonen, who is best known for his depictions of leather-clad, super-masculine guys. His artwork has become the symbol of the leather scene the world over and the image that many guys aspire to represent.
Tom of Finland is a film about Touko’s life, dreams and love. “In our country Laaksonen is the most famous artist in the world, a Finnish hero, which we have reason to be proud of. He was also a war veteran, and that’s why it feels great to get to present the actual movie trailer for the first time in the same week, when the celebrated Finnish independence, “says the film’s director Dome Karukoski. HE goes on to say that he considers this film the most important of his career and that, “…the film’s main themes of courage, love and freedom are close to my heart, and even more important, when you look at what is currently happening in the world.”
The film is a beautiful and emotional description of Tom of Finland’s journey to international success. In the film, Touko returns home after serving his country in the Second World War. Life in peacetime in Finland turns out to be a challenge, being gay is illegal and so gay men exist in a hidden sub-culture and many hide their love and relationships. Touko longs to find a way of escape and express himself through his talent for drawing. He begins to draw muscular men, free and uninhibited dressed in leather biker gear.
In the film we see the drawings carry Touko via Berlin to Los Angeles, which contrasts dramatically with his life in Finland. The unprejudiced atmosphere found in California leads to a recognition and appreciation of his art.
The movie will be no doubt be very popular, but also serve as a timeless reminder and an inspirational symbol for the revolution in rights and struggles of sexual minorities.