It was only a matter of time before somebody created a film about one of the most influential figures of 20th Century gay culture, Touko Laaksonen. His Tom of Finland art signature became well-known in the gay movement, and is just as celebrated today. Award-winning filmmaker, Dome Karukoski (who Variety said was a worldwide TOP-10 Director to Watch in 2013), depicts the thrilling true story brilliantly in this film released by peccadillo Pictures.
He gained international success with his artwork, but before that he had to keep his drawings of muscular, proud gay men (which he drew for himself and friends) a secret – even from his sister. Returning home after his service to World War II and hiding his homosexuality in post-war Finland meant he had to be careful about his sexual encounters. He seemed to lead a somewhat regular life in advertising, and he even fell in love with a dancer, but what he didn’t know is that his artwork would take him abroad.
The film is available in selected cinemas only from August 11th. Check your local listings!
Featured image of Touko Laaksonen (performed by Pekka_Strang) by Josef Persson