Original name Punahukka
Kirjoittajat Kari Hotakainen
Original language Finnish
Premiere year 2004
Theater KOM-teatteri
Keywords Drama

Performances abroad

A staged reading, Copenhagen, Denmark, May 6th 2006.


Drama / Comedy – 4 F, 3 M – multiple locations
Border Crossing is a humorous and touching play about individuals’ search for a meaningful life in a world that seems confusing and purposeless; it addresses several important issues regarding religious faith, the capricious human mind, the prevailing Finnish society, and, allegorically, the complex relationship between Finland and Russia. The main character Pekka undergoes a religious conversion as he overreacts to his past which was based on the exploitation of Russian women and Russian heritage by smuggling precious icons into Finland. As he seeks to convince others and change his lifestyle, those around him suffer unnecessary consequences: unemployment, jeopardization of child adoption plans, and a religious crisis, for instance. During the play, it becomes clear that Pekka’s religious conversion is only skin deep and that he is exploiting those around him in new ways. The more enduring values represented by other characters start to resound in him with greater importance and he decides to make more meaningful contributions.

The play premiered at the KOM Theatre (Helsinki) in September 2005 and got a full house for nine months.

“We are balanced people lacking ideals” Pekka
“A picture which is as one-sided as possible is a good picture.” / “A one-sided picture would have been better.” Elina

Views by the Finnish Press

“What makes Kari Hotakainen an interesting case is that even though he handles the same themes as many other playwrights, these cold and chilly themes which move us in our times, his insight into people is unusually warm and accurate, understanding. For Hotakainen no-one exists just because of his work or social position but on the contrary as a thinking and feeling human being.”
Ilkka Kuosmanen (Etelä-Suomen Sanomat 18.9.2005)

Border Crossing is ”a masterpiece of sparkling and fast dialogues in which lightness and soreness overlap.”
“Absurd situations open up to become discussions about life and faith, birth and mercy.”
“One leaves the theatre in a good mood and a little bit richer no matter how black a rain cloud waits outside.”
Kirsikka Moring (Helsingin Sanomat 16.9.2005)

”Language and dialogues are the weapons with which Hotakainen has conquered the readers and with which he also attacks theatre audiences.
Sometimes Hotakainen seems like a writer who has a serious mind and something important to say... and still, doubt lurks at the bottom of one’s mind: what if he doesn’t? What if he is just making us spin for his own amusement?”
from the reasons given by the Nordic Drama Award panel 2006


Language Swedish
Translation name Tro sig tro
Translators Jan Nåls
Copies available office(at)dramacorner.fi
Drama agency Nordic Drama Corner

Language Danish
Translation name Arvelige faktorer
Translators Helena Idström
Copies available office(at)dramacorner.fi
Drama agency Nordic Drama Corner

Language English
Translation name Border Crossing
Translators Steve Wilmer
Marja Wilmer
Copies available office(at)dramacorner.fi
Drama agency Nordic Drama Corner, office(at)dramacorner.fi