Director Dome Karukoski’s rousing biopic traces the transformation of shy Helsinki ad-man Touko Laaksonen into an international gay celebrity known as Tom of Finland, whose proudly homoerotic drawings shaped the fantasies of a generation of gay men. His carefully detailed drawings of muscular, often leather-clad or uniformed men with eye-popping sexual attributes also influenced the art and fashion of the late 1960s and ’70s.
Born in 1920 on the south coast of Finland to schoolteacher parents, Touko grew up in a household friendly to art, literature and music. During WWII, he served as a closeted lieutenant in the Finnish forces; wartime blackouts facilitating quick sexual encounters in the bushes. There was no place for his art in the repressive Finnish society of the 1950s, but the American muscle magazine Physique Pictorial ultimately put it on their spring 1957 cover under the moniker Tom of Finland and an LGBTQ celebrity was born.
In competition for the FIPRESCI Prize.
|Original Language Title:||Touko|
|Running Time:||114 minutes|
|Language:||Finnish, German and English|
|Awards:||Fipresci Award, Göteborg Film Festival|
|Producers:||Aleksi Bardy, Mila Haavisto, Annika Sucksdorff|
|Principal Cast:||Pekka Strang, Lauri Tilkanen, Jessica Grabowsky, Werner Daehn|