12 user 23 critic

Letters to Father Jacob (2009)

Postia pappi Jaakobille (original title)
With few options, newly pardoned convict Leila agrees to work as an assistant to a blind pastor. Father Jacob spends his days answering the letters of the needy, which Leila finds pointless... See full summary »


Klaus Härö


Klaus Härö (screenplay), Jaana Makkonen (original idea) | 1 more credit »
16 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

During World War II, more than 70,000 Finnish children were evacuated to neutral Sweden to avoid the conflict. From the award-winning Klaus Härö (Elina: As If I Wasn't There (2002)), "... See full summary »

Director: Klaus Härö
Stars: Topi Majaniemi, Marjaana Maijala, Maria Lundqvist
The Fencer (2015)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fleeing from the Russian secret police, a young Estonian fencer is forced to return to his homeland, where he becomes a physical education teacher at a local school. The past however catches up and puts him in front of a difficult choice.

Director: Klaus Härö
Stars: Märt Avandi, Ursula Ratasepp, Hendrik Toompere Sr.
One Last Deal (2018)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An elderly art dealer Olavi (72) is about to retire. A man who has always put business and art before everything - even his family - cannot imagine life without work. At an auction, an old ... See full summary »

Director: Klaus Härö
Stars: Heikki Nousiainen, Pirjo Lonka, Amos Brotherus
The New Man (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sweden 1951. A new society is developing, a society where there is no room for the socially and mentally weak. Gertrud is a 17 year old girl from a very poor family. Against her will, she ... See full synopsis »

Director: Klaus Härö
Stars: Lo Kauppi, Ellen Jelinek, Ann-Sofie Nurmi
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Häjyt tells a story of two friends who have a hard time finding their place in the society. Antti and Jussi are released from jail. While they were doing time for bank robbery, the third ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksi Mäkelä
Stars: Samuli Edelmann, Juha Veijonen, Teemu Lehtilä
Hellsinki (2009)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Professional criminals in Finland from 1966 to 1979.

Director: Aleksi Mäkelä
Stars: Samuli Edelmann, Peter Franzén, Kari Hietalahti
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A sort of "Divorce Finnish Style," Mika Kaurismäki's rambunctious comedy, The House of Branching Love , recounts the breakup of a thirty-something professional couple - Juhani, a family ... See full summary »

Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Stars: Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Elina Knihtilä, Kati Outinen
Frozen Land (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a schoolteacher is sacked he projects his bad mood at his troubled teen son. He in turn buys a CD player from a pawnshop with counterfeit money. This causes a chain-reaction that ... See full summary »

Director: Aku Louhimies
Stars: Jasper Pääkkönen, Mikko Leppilampi, Pamela Tola
Juice II (2018)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Based on the life of legendary Finnish singer and songwriter Juice Leskinen.

Director: Teppo Airaksinen
Stars: Riku Nieminen, Iida-Maria Heinonen, Pekka Strang
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Director: Heikki Kujanpää
Stars: Elena Leeve, Tommi Korpela, Elina Knihtilä
Tyhjiö (2018)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of the tumultuous relationship between a successful actress and a struggling writer.

Director: Aleksi Salmenperä
Stars: Laura Birn, Tommi Korpela, Hannu-Pekka Björkman


Cast overview:
Kaarina Hazard ... Leila
Heikki Nousiainen Heikki Nousiainen ... Father Jacob
Jukka Keinonen Jukka Keinonen ... Posteljooni
Esko Roine Esko Roine ... Vankilan Johtaja
Kaija Pakarinen Kaija Pakarinen ... Leilan sisko (voice)


With few options, newly pardoned convict Leila agrees to work as an assistant to a blind pastor. Father Jacob spends his days answering the letters of the needy, which Leila finds pointless. But when the letters stop, the pastor is devastated and Leila finds herself cast in a new role. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

3 April 2009 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Cartas al padre Jacob See more »


Box Office


€525,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kinotar, Yleisradio (YLE) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was supposed to be a made-for-TV film, but it was released in theaters instead. See more »


In one brief shot, the mailbox in the yard has water streaming out from four holes. This water could not have accumulated naturally, so it was obviously poured into the mailbox by the crew just before the shot. See more »


Posteljooni: Post for Father Jacob!
See more »


References Little Big Man (1970) See more »


Nocturne in E flat
Composed by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Kathleen Parlow
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Where redemption happens in the most unlikely places.
1 March 2013 | by RJBurke1942See all my reviews

This superlative film from Finland shows, better than most, how to tell a story with few words. The director, Klaus Haro, definitely shows the same skill with visual story-telling as that consummate master, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, famous most recently for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011).

The plot is simple: a youngish woman, Leila (Kaarina Hazard) is released from a life sentence in prison to take up a job as a personal assistant to a blind priest, Pastor Jacob (Heikki Nousiainen) out in the boondocks. Leila settles in, reading the pastor's letters from supplicants and writing necessary replies. Leila is not happy though; she resists Jacob's attempts at friendship; she avoids helping in other matters; she remains aloof, uncaring, unsatisfied. Until, one day, she notices that the postman fails to bring more letters for Jacob, and Leila discovers that things are never quite what they seem to be.

The underlying story is complex, lyrical, philosophical, and ultimately heart-warming without being sentimental. The acting is simply perfect for the context: Kaarina Hazard, with a large bone structure, deep frowning face and brusque manner is every bit the ex-con and depressive personality – but why was she serving a life sentence? Why was she released? And why was she sent to the pastor, of all places?

As the pastor, Heikki Nousiainen, is equally adept at portraying a gentle sage near life's end, supremely faithful to his god, forever upbeat and friendly, always with a gentle word for all, even for those who despise him, as Leila seems to do, at first. Dialog is sparse. Often, all that is needed is a quick look, a glance, a sigh, a slight groan of disquiet, as the two get to know each other and while the days meld into a seamless, almost timeless stasis with the gorgeous Finnish forests. Some comic relief is provided by the wary attitude of the postman towards Leila, as he brings the letters for Pastor Jacob.

The sound track – mostly piano – is muted and fits the overall mood. We see the wind in the forest, and hear the river water. But, more than that, we hear the silence, particularly when the two sit, contemplating each other and their inner selves. The rain falls, the water drips through the ceiling into pots or buckets, and life must go on. Even for the Leila's of the world...

It's a credit to the script writer and director that I was never squirming in my seat eager for something to happen. In fact, that never impinged upon my involvement with the unfolding story: so that's perfect pacing for me. My only criticism, though, is that story lacks true believability: it's possible, yes, but highly improbable in real life.

No story is ever perfect, however. This one, though, comes close by promising nothing up front; and then, with a denouement that arrives like a meteor, it rips away any comfortable sang-froid to show us that, if you're prepared to dig deep within, you will indeed find promises to keep.

Highly recommended for all adults, young and old. Eight out of ten for this effort, no question.

February 28, 2013

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed