Erik Blomberg (1913-1996)

Finnish cinematographer and film director Erik Blomberg is best known for 'The White Reindeer' (1952).

2019.03.31 | Joachim Mickwitz, revised by Pietari Kääpä

Erik Blomberg, one of the few internationally famous Finnish film directors of the twentieth century, ca. 1960. Source: Kari Uusitalo, picture gallery of Finnish film makers (Public domain).

Erik Blomberg was one of the few internationally successful Finnish film directors of the twentieth century. Born in Helsinki in 1913, he started as a cinematographer and photographer, having completed his education in both Paris and London. In Finland, he developed an expressive camera style in his documentary films, perfected in cooperation with the experimental director Teuvo Tulio and the modernist Nyrki Tapiovaara.

Blomberg’s best known film is Valkoinen peura (The White Reindeer, 1952), which won prizes in Cannes in 1953 and a Golden Globe in 1956. The film is renowned for its expressionist use of mythology and the landscape of Lapland. Blomberg also directed two film adaptations, Kun on tunteet (1954) (Having affections), based on a novel by Maria Jotuni, and Kihlaus (1955) (The engagement), based on a drama by Aleksis Kivi. Both films showcase his ability to capture the spirit of the nation’s past. Blomberg died in Kuusjoki in 1996.

Further reading:

  • J. Sundholm et al., Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Cinema (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2012).