Kolme Perunaa invites you to the Finnish premiere of La Figure de la Terre, on Wednesday 1st April at 6:30 pm at the Galleria in Vanha Ylioppilastalo, Mannerheimintie 3, Helsinki. Before the projection, Elina Mustonen will interpret Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Les Triolets et la Poule on the harpsichord. The film lasts 24 minutes. The evening ends at 8 pm. Free entry.

La Figure de la Terre is a short film based on the book by the same name published by Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, a mathematician at the Royal Science Academy, in 1738. Maupertuis wrote the book after returning from the Tornio valley, where he had directed one of the first international scientific expeditions with the objective of determining the correct shape of the Earth.

While precise scientifically, Maupertuis exaggerates in his narration the dangers that he and his collaborators were exposed to during their time in Lapland. The first scientist to become a public figure and to have his portrait painted (dressed as a Lapp), Maupertuis knew how to take advantage of the arts to advance his scientific objectives; this book is part of those strategies.

Osmo Pekonen, Ph.D., a Finnish historian of science and an expert on this expedition, plays two roles in the film. On the one hand he is the scientific advisor, ensuring the precision of the reenacted events and providing the context to Maupertuis’s book. On the other hand, he plays Maupertuis in the film. He is joined by Johan Stén, Ph.D., also a Finnish historian of science, who plays the part of Anders Celsius.

The film shows the reenactment of the expedition in the actual locations in which it took place presenting a story with multiple layers: the expedition as it took place, the description of it in Maupertuis’s book, its analysis and interpretation by Osmo Pekonen and, finally, its transformation into a film.