First Five is all set to be released on Max and is expected to be available for streaming starting on Friday, June 9, 2023. The documentary will focus on former Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her core team, consisting of four female cabinet members, and the various obstacles and challenges they overcame as a unit, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian War.
First Five is executive produced by Christian Wikander and Hanka Kastelicova, with the latter representing HBO Nordic. The three-part docuseries is helmed by Mia Halme, and apart from Marin, will focus on Li Sigrid Andersson, Katri Briitta Ilona Kulmuni, Anna-Maja Kristina Henriksson, and Maria Karoliina Ohisalo.
The First Five trailer gives viewers a glimpse of how Marin and her cabinet made history
The trailer for First Five was released on HBO Max Nordic's (Max will roll out in Europe only in 2024) official YouTube channel on May 15, 2023. It begins with a quick rundown of how the core cabinet of Marin's government was all-female and shows snippets of them meeting the press and participating in public events. It then quickly switches to the time period during which the COVID-19 pandemic was posing a great threat.
It was also during this time that the then-prime minister Sanna Marin came under scrutiny for partying with celebrities. The cabinet, especially Marin, was criticized often during their tenure, and are seen addressing the criticism in the trailer, saying:
"If I'm working, I should be with my family. If I'm cleaning, it's wrong because I should hire a maid. If I go running, it's wrong because I should be working. Everyone has a private life. No one has the right to dictate how you should live. You need some kind of armor to not be truly damaged."
Moving on to the Russo-Ukrainian War, the trailer shows the cabinet's stance during the early stages of the invasion and reveals one of the key reasons behind Finland's decision to join NATO. The trailer ends with an analogy from Sanna Marin, comparing the composure of the cabinet during turbulent times to the calmness of the eye of a raging storm.
A synopsis for the docuseries was provided in the description for the trailer. It reads:
"The three-part documentary series First Five goes behind the public roles of Finland’s all-female cabinet, providing an honest and unguarded look into the lives of exceptional politicians in unprecedented times."
First Five marks Mia Halme's docuseries debut
Mia Halme is no stranger to documentaries, having directed feature projects that have been screened at festivals around the world. She is the recipient of the 2012 Jussi Award for Forever Yours. Her films are known for exploring themes connected to freedom and human relationships, touching on family, love, and loneliness. First Five, however, marks Halme's docuseries debut.
Halme began her career as a journalist for newspapers and the radio. Apart from being a filmmaker, Mia Halme has worked as a lecturer and an Executive in Residence at the Film School at Aalto University. Speaking to Women and Hollywood, she revealed that the inspiration behind her taking up filmmaking was her wanting "to understand the unsolved mystery of life with its layers of feelings, fascinating biology, and the spiral of time we live in."
Produced by FremantleMedia Finland Oy, First Five will be available for streaming exclusively on Max from June 9, 2023.