The Missile

Finland | 2024 | 114 min. | Miia Tervo

From writer/director Miia Tervo (Aurora, SIFF 2019) comes this bone-dry comedy about a single mother who unwittingly becomes part of a history she doesn’t want when an errant Soviet missile lands outside of her small Finnish town.

On the way to her sister’s wedding in 1984, Niina (Oona Airola) hears a loud boom reverberating across the frigid skies over her home in Finland’s subarctic Lapland region. Niina, a divorced, frequently overwhelmed mother of two, is baffled that her eccentric family seems too self-absorbed to notice the incident. Despite having no training beyond writing “poems about ponies” in school, Niina launches a one-woman investigation into the mystery at a sleepy local newspaper, interviewing every quirky character in town. The tension escalates when a contingent of scowling Finnish military brass descends on the local hotel. Looking for leads, Niina strikes up a relationship with a handsome Finnish Air Force pilot who witnessed the incident, hinting that an errant Soviet nuclear cruise missile may be involved. Meanwhile, Niina must confront the return of her volatile ex-husband, recently released from jail for assault and looking to force his way back into her life. Drenched in ’80s kitsch, full of poodle-perms, mullets from hell, and synth-powered Europop, The Missile, based loosely on a real geopolitical incident, is part absurdist comedy, part Cold War thriller, and part harrowing domestic-abuse drama, asking whether it’s possible to fully comprehend danger lurking under the surface before it’s too late.

—Randy Woods

  • Original Language Title: Ohjus
  • Director: Miia Tervo
  • Principal Cast: Oona Airola, Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Tommi Korpela, Pyry Kähkönen
  • Premiere Status: North American
  • Country: Finland, Estonia
  • Year: 2024
  • Running Time: 114 min.
  • Producer: Kaisla Viitala, Daniel Kuitunen
  • Screenplay: Miia Tervo
  • Cinematographers: Meelis Veeremets
  • Editors: Antti Reikko
  • Music: Laura Naukkarinen
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Aurora (2019)
  • Language: Finnish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • International Sales: Picture Tree International