Free Skate


Russians believe they are strong, while Westerners are effete. They also believe men are stronger than women and, in Free Skate, men are determined to show their prowess. The film depicts a father who cultivates his daughter to be a top ice skater in Russia. At a young age, his mother dies for reasons not explained, whereupon her father dominates her life. On several occasions she performs badly as she auditions, but ultimately she (played by Veera W. Vilo) is cheered by thousands. She excels at ice skating but does not understand that such prominence means that she will be forced to have sex, with her father benefiting financially. Accordingly, she tries to hitchhike to Finland, a truck driver takes her a distance, and once again she is assaulted. However, her grandmother lives in Finland and assists her as she achieves her goal of figure skating. Directed by Roope Olenius, the film has a lot of figure skating but dialog in the fictional account is sparse.  MH

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