Winner of Un Certain Regard at Cannes 2016 and recently chosen to represent Finland at the Oscars, “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki” is one of this year’s most pleasant surprises. As its director Juho Kuosmanen would firmly explain, this unusual true story is not your typical boxing drama. Based on the exploits of its title character Olli Mäki, it follows his preparation for the biggest fight of his life. But while his country primes him to be their next sporting hero, Olli is much more concerned with his burgeoning romance with his sweetheart Raija. Earlier this week, I had a chat with Kuosmanen to learn more about his approach to this unique character, the making of the film and his personal attachment to its themes. Below is an edited version of our conversation.
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