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Tom of Finland

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9:15 PM

TIFF Bell Lightbox - Cinema 1
350 King Street West
Toronto, ON

Imagine your ideal man. Is his leather stretched tightly across his impossibly muscular body? Is his mustachioed face the vision of masculinity? Enter: Tom of Finland, as he is known to the world, but introduced to us here as Touko Laaksonen, the visionary artist behind those infamous charcoal drawings.

A decorated officer, Touko Laaksonen returns home after serving his country in World War II. But life after the war does not necessarily bring him peace. The only place that Touko finds refuge from homophobic Helsinki is in his art. Under his secret signature, Tom of Finland, Touko creates hypersexual drawings of muscular men that would eventually become a symbol of freedom and expression for a generation of gay men.

From a World War II soldier to the forefather of the leather scene, to becoming a voice at the forefront of the AIDS epidemic, Tom of Finland is a beautiful story of a courageous man who stands at the center of the gay revolution.