AWARD-WINNING filmmaker DOME KARUKOSKI brings to screen the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture. TOM OF FINLAND is the beautiful and thrilling true story of Finnish artist TOUKO LAAKSONEN and his journey to international success.
Touko returns home after serving his country in World War II. But post-war Finland is a bleak and moralistic place where homosexuality is illegal, so Touko has to be furtive about his sexual encounters. To amuse himself and his friends, Touko starts to draw muscular, uninhibited and proud gay men, but these drawings have to be kept secret - even his sister Kaija doesn't know about them. For a while, Touko leads a regular life working in an advertisement agency, and falls in love with a dancer, Veli Mäkinen. But his drawings soon lead Touko to Berlin and from there to Los Angeles, where his art reaches a wide audience. His work, always with his Tom of Finland signature, becomes widely symbolic and fans the flames of the gay movement. Tom of Finland's art is timeless and world famous.