This film is based on true events. The story of the real Anna Lappalainen, Princess, is simultaneously confusing, touching, funny and educational, and therefore an obvious choice for translation into film. The story depicts our community’s recurring fear of the different. Thanks to this phenomenon, its heroine, while actually a healing force towards her surroundings, was considered a threat and the authorities attempted to suppress her luminous presence.

I have attempted to capture the story’s strong emotional content as well as Anna Lappalainen’s wonderful effect upon her surroundings. Although the story unfolds in the past, its subject is still topical to day, where the separation between social classes is growing, the cuts in healthcare and the increasing number of outpatients are a disturbing reality, and genetic manipulation looms on the horizon. Difference is still very much a source of fear for our society.

Anna Lappalainen is allegedly the only psychiatric patient in the world for whom a statue has been erected, in honour of her years as a patient. The statue stands on the grounds of Kellokoski Hospital in order to remind us of how a small human being can heal their surroundings more effectively than the formula-ridden healthcare system. I tried to keep this in mind while making the film.

Arto Halonen