Laugh or Die
Suomen hauskin mies
1918, Finland after the Civil War. The famous actor of the Workers’ Theatre, Parikka, is caught and sent to a prison camp where his remaining comrades languish on the verge of death. All the red rebels at the camp are going to be executed. Parikka’ s situation among his comrades is not comforting, either: the others consider him a traitor. Nyborg, a young warrant officer who admires Parikka as an actor, leads the execution squad, but he is unable to give the order to fire. Parikka defies death by cracking jokes in front of the squad, getting a laugh out of the guards. Captain Kalm, the camp commandant, unexpectedly decides to stop the execution. He makes a suggestion to Parikka: if the actor and his comrades will put on an entertaining play for his German guests, they will not be shot.
Heikki Kujanpää Heikki Kujanpää has worked as a director, a writer and an actor in cinema, theatre, opera and television. He has written filmscripts and plays for radio and stage. He has directed short, documentary and feature films. He´s been awarded international prizes for his films A Small Pilgrimage and The Icebreaker. Kujanpää is one of the founders of Q-theatre in Helsinki. He has also worked as a director general in Kuopio City Theatre.