Abstract

This article focuses on the reproduction of rural anti-idyllic representations in audiovisual popular culture through an analysis of the Finnish film Kuutamosonaatti (The moonlight sonata, 1988). We examine how the divide between rural and urban people, as well as their living environments and gender roles, has been constructed in the film. We also show how the film mixes features of Hollywood hillbilly characters with a Finnish negative stereotyping of rural men. Moreover, both in Finland and the United States, the negative stereotyping of rural men had begun before the era of modern film. This paper claims that the representations of rural otherness in popular film mirror the development of the Finnish society toward a modern, urban way of life, which becomes dominant.

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