Anniki is no ordinary girl, of course. That's because on the day she was born the angels got together and decided to make a dream come true. So they sprinkled moon dust in her hair and starlight in her eyes of blue. That's why all the boys in town follow her around, because they long to be close to Anniki*. Anniki, however, is a picky girl and she refuses to come across to just anybody until she meets Lemminkainen (Andreas Oshkin).
Lemminkainen is a lumberjack who stumbles upon Anniki when she's out doing the laundry. Of course, it's love at first sight and their first exchange plays like Dumb Enchanted Evening, except it's taking place in broad daylight.
"Who's gold is that?" Lemminkainen asks. "Can this be the daughter of the rosy dawn? Or the radiance of the moon?"
"It's not the moon! Nor is it the sun! I am just a simple maiden," twitters Anniki.
End of story? Not quite. You see, Anniki remembers that the Sampo was promised to their village as a reward for their piety. The bride-to-be feels guilty that Lem and Ilm had to build a Sampo for Louhi in order to rescue her. Anniki feels--and quite rightly so--that the mean old crone won't share the bounty of her Sampo fairly. In fact, when Louhi catches one of her trolls pocketing some gold coins, she sends the poor bastard off to the snake pits for punishment.
"Let's Make A Deal": Evil witch Louhi lists her demands to Ilmarinen and Lemminkainen
This plunges the world into total darkness, of course, as well as perpetual snow and wind. Even for a people used to a harsh climate, this deep freeze is too much. Things get so dark and dismal, in fact, Lem can't tell what color his wife's eyes are anymore! So he decides to gather an army and march on Louhi to free the sun.
That's when old sage Vainamoinen steps in. he tells Lem that fighting witchie-poo with swords won't work. Instead, he orders the young men of the village to chop down a bunch of trees in order to make a passel of Kanteles, a string instrument that is plucked, much like a Dulcimer or a Zither. The women, meanwhile, were asked to give up all their jewelry to be melted down to make the Kanteleses strings. When the instruments are finished (no pun intended!) and tuned, the army marches to Louhi's lair.
Although the Soviet Union routinely gave America a severe pounding in their media, the Commie big-wigs really liked Hollywood movies and admired tinsel town's technical know-how. Naturally, they longed to prove Soviet movies could be just as good or even better than the ones churned out by the Capitalists.
The problem in meeting this challenge was the iron hand of censorship. Russian and Eastern Bloc artists had to repeatedly prove their fealty to Communism and The State before they create anything. Shortages, bureaucracy and government interference stifled creativity and production even further. That's why the best examples of Soviet-era film making were flicks based on fairy tales, epic poems and classic children's stories. The subject matter was safely apolitical and drew inspiration from the country's cherished traditions, thus they created fewer problems for both the film makers and the state authorities.