Spike Lee. Photograph: Olivier Borde

American director Spike Lee is visiting Finland. Lee has been popular in this country since the 1990s with his vivid portraits of black lives in films like Do the Right Thing (1989) and Malcolm X (1992).

On Tuesday, Lee seemed to be enjoying the admiration of President Sauli Niinistö when he visited the president’s official residence, Mäntyniemi, with Finnish actor Jasper Pääkkönen—who is hosting Lee’s visit.

In a Tweet, where President Niinistö, Lee and Pääkkönen are sitting around the table at Mäntyniemi’s terrace, President Niinistö described their talks as “colorful stories about movies.”

President Niinistö has met director Lee previously by coincidence in a plane to New York in 2018. According to Niinistö, they talked about the goings of the world and Pääkkönen.

The president’s office also published a picture of Lee’s visit on Instagram:

On Wednesday, Lee met with Antti Kurvinen (the Centre), who has been serving as the minister of science and culture since May this year.


According to Kurvinen, they spoke about opportunities concerning Finland, movies, Finland vs. Sweden, and sauna.

Pääkkönen has acted in two of Lee’s movies: BlacKkKlansman (2018) and Da 5 Bloods (2020).

In an interview, Pääkkönen described Lee’s visit as one “without an official purpose.”

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Lee previously visited Finland in 2018. Pääkkönen hosted the visit.


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