Letters to Father Jacob (Postia pappi Jaakobille) (2010)


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Movie Info

Leila has just been pardoned after serving 12 years of a life sentence. Upon her release from prison she is offered a job at a secluded parsonage as the personal assistant to the blind pastor Father Jacob, who's life's mission is to answer the letters of those who write asking for his help. Although she regards Father Jacob's correspondence as pointless, it ultimately plays a role in Leila's own redemption and self-forgiveness.


Jukka Keinonen
as Posteljooni
Heikki Nousiainen
as Father Jacob
Kaija Pakarinen
as Leilan sisko
Esko Roine
as Vankilan Johtaja

Critic Reviews for Letters to Father Jacob (Postia pappi Jaakobille)

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5)

It's a story of faith expressed with simple grace and the small deeds of a pardoned sinner still searching for forgiveness. It is like a minimalist stage play -- three acts, two characters, quietly redemptive.

Oct 14, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

There's a sparse elegance to writer-director Klaus Härö's Letters to Father Jacob, a lean, engrossing character study about loneliness, redemption and the power of faith.

Oct 14, 2010 | Full Review…

Transforms a picture-postcard location and odd-couple narrative into a pretty, and pretty predictable, snooze.

Oct 8, 2010 | Rating: 2/4

Letters could be dismissed as a soap opera, but that would be unfair to this beautiful work.

Oct 8, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

There's only one thing worse than a leaden moral fable that tackles issues of forgiveness with sledgehammer contrivances, and that's one that attempts to mask its manipulative corniness with an air of trumped-up gravity.

Oct 6, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

...unfortunately the film doesn't leave an impression of narrative economy, more of deflating, inconsequential wispiness.

Jun 12, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Letters to Father Jacob (Postia pappi Jaakobille)

This quiet little gem from Finland grabbed this viewer's heart. A woman is pardoned from a life sentence and has nowhere else to go, but to live in a rundown rectory with an old blind priest and help him with his correspondence with people seeking advice and prayer. The minimal cast is marvelous. Kaarina Hazard plays Leila, whose crime is only revealed toward the end. Her distrust and guilt take turns undermining her ability to recognize the healing she quietly undergoes and indeed keep her from recognizing her need. The old blind priest, Father Jacob (Heikke Nousiainen), lives out his days waiting for the postman (Jukka Keinonen) to bring the day's letters so that he can get to work. One gets drawn in to the interplay between these three characters and the situation at the rectory. There are flaws in the story, but they are minor and do not detract from the message of the film, which is that we are each in need of purpose, some are damaged in unseen ways, and that community, even one so small, is necessary for survival. Kudos to director Klaus Haro for presenting the audience with such a beautifully filmed and lovingly told story.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer


Truly beautiful film about an elderly, blind priest who takes in a hardened former convict as his personal assistant, reading the letters sent to him from all over asking for prayers and spiritual guidance, and writing out his responses. But as the letters stop coming and Father Jacob begins to feel the world leave him behind, both of them begin to realize they may be exactly what each other needs. A deeply moving tale of redemption and the profound need to be needed that is refreshingly un-manipulative.

Matthew Lucas
Matthew Lucas

Super Reviewer

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