In ‘Vedenneito,’ the Finnish nature is experienced through Emika Saario’s eyes. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Emika, 13, is not like the other girls. She has friends. She seems cool. But rather than hanging out at the small town mall, she spends her free time in the warm hug of Mother Nature.

In Vedenneito (Mermaid), the viewer gets to experience the fascinating scenery of Lake Saimaa region as Emika with her cousin Antti travel over the clear, blue waters under the clear, blue sky. They see a lot of waterbirds and fish. Often, they talk about animals they cannot see but feel their presence.

Director Petteri Saario is fascinated with the relation of man and nature. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

That’s when the director and nature documentarist Pentti Saario with his crew step into the woods to capture bears, lynxes and poker-faced owls.


For Emika and Antti it’s great to spend the summer in a small boat at the Lake Saimaa. In the winter, they sleep in a tent over the frozen lake. According to Emika, it’s warm enough, if you wear the right clothes. In the winter, one really gets to know the birds because there are fewer of them.

During their travels, Emika speaks Finnish in clear, short sentences. For a foreigner just learning Finnish, it would be easy to follow and learn at the same time.

Emika and Antti also have a goal bigger than Lake Saimaa: They want to see a Saimaa ringed seal from close range.

Will they succeed?

That’s for the viewer to find out.

‘Vedenneito’ in cinemas now.