Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
This particular documentary on "nine ways" to approach the Finnish capital of Helsinki -- that is to say, the viewpoints and perspectives of nine completely different individuals -- is one of several such documentaries that European filmmakers created on major cities in that part of the globe. Director and writer Jorn Donner might not be familiar with Hokusai's woodcut series "36 Views of Mount Fuji," but he has accomplished the same objective as Hokusai. He has taken a national symbol, the capital itself, and interviewed individuals like a worker on a break at a dockyard, watching the ships ply the blue waters, to present Helsinki from the perspective of the widest possible swath of professions and viewpoints. The truly metropolitan nature of the city is nuanced with an "East-West" wind, says Donner, a wind that brings Eastern communism and Western capitalism into a surprisingly vigorous and complementary mix.