Maria's Paradise


Digital Screening Room Mon, May 4, 2020 12:00 PM
Digital Screening Room Fri, May 15, 2020
Ticket Prices
General Public:$10.00
Film Info
Original Title:Marian paratiisi
Programs:Midnight Sun
Women & Film
Women Directors
Historical Drama
Release Year:2019
Runtime:110 min
Website:Official Website
Print Source:Level K
Director:Zaida Bergroth
Executive Producer:Liisa Penttilä
Producer:Daniel Kuitunen
Kaisla Viitala
Cinematographer:Hena Blomberg
Screenwriter:Anna Viitala
Jan Forsström
Editor:Samu Heikkilä
Composer:Timo Kaukolampi
Tuomo Puranen
Principal Cast:Pihla Viitala
Satu Tuuli Karhu
Saga Sarkola
Filmography:Miami (2017)
The Good Son (2011)
Last Cowboy Standing (2009)


Available to Watch May 15 at 11:00 AM - May 23 11:59 PM | Access to MSPIFF39 Redefined is geo-restricted to viewers in Minnesota and a MN billing address is required to purchase a ticket.

Salome is a young woman, orphaned at a very young age, who was taken-in by “sleeping preacher” Maria Åkerblom and her cult. Knowing nothing but the ways of this fervent religious group, Salome goes on a trip and meets Malin, who helps her see through the deceit for the first time.

At once a fascinating historical film about Finnish cult leader Maria Åkerblom, whose many trances made people refer to her as a sleeping preacher, Maria’s Paradise is also a character study of a young woman and her awakening from the slumber of a nefarious cult. Åkerblom was an all-consuming religious leader who demanded her followers give all their possessions to her church, to protect her and her followers and to never question their dogma. Salome, vulnerable but intelligent, sees through the lies with the help of her friend, and her journey is at once inspirational and thrilling.

Director Biography

Zaida Bergroth

Born in Kivijärvi, Finland in 1977, Zaida Bergroth studied directing at Helsinki's School of Motion Picture, Television and Production Design. She has directed the features Last Cowboy Standing (2009), The Good Son (2011), and Miami (2017), which screened at the 2018 MSPIFF.


"That tension between old and new, good and bad is pleasingly kept taut throughout by Bergroth's confident direction" - The Hollywood Reporter