Finally, Dome Karukoski’s latest project, Tom of Finland has been released at select theaters in the UK. Set in Helsinki at the turn of World War II, the drama will follow the life and times of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen.
Before he was known for some 3,500 gay erotic illustrations, the man behind the pseudonym faced open persecution upon return from his tour in the military, hard pressed to marry a woman, and forced to keep his affairs with men secret. Laaksonen found solace in his art, and a generation of gay men found with it the courage to get out and speak up.
“This is the story of a man ahead of his time, bravely standing up against a world virulently against his right to be who he was – a homosexual man with homosexual fantasies,” said Karukoski, the film’s director. “The story shows how literally one person can create change in the world, even with something as simple as an artist’s tools.”
The film’s screenplay was written by Aleksi Bardy, who will produce the film along with Miia Haavisto and Annika Sucksdorff. Production took place in Gothenburg, Sweden.