SISU is a non-profit documentary about family, love and perseverance from Finland to America. 

Filmmaker Marko Albrecht began SISU documentary in 2011 honor the legacy of his late mother Päivi, his Finnish-American family and the Finnish mindset SISU.  

Just after starting SISU documentary in 2011 Paivi's surviving brother Heikki informed the family he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told he had 6 months to live.

SISU is a documentary that profiles family as they conquer tragedy with love, faith, and courage.



Filmmaker Statement:  Marko Albrecht

Filmmaker Marko Albrecht, his wife Danielle and their twins in Lyokki Finland. 

Sisu Documentary is an emotional 5 year voyage for filmmaker

After our twins were born in 2011 I immediately knew I needed to tell them my life story so they knew who they were and came from. I wanted them to meet my late mother Paivi, see our childhood, my grandparents, my life in Chicago and Finnish summers.  Most importantly I wanted them to know how the Finnish mindset sisu shaped my life. 

My family has been documenting our lives on photo, film  and video since the early 1900s so I had an epic amount of content to work with. In late 2011 I started organizing boxes of old VHS, 8mm, photos.  I wanted to make a simple, fun, loving memorial highlight reel and be done in 1 month.

But life took an unexpected turn. On January 1st 2012 my mother's surviving brother Heikki was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and told he had no more than 6 months to live. My Family and I were shocked and devastated.  

I traveled from NJ to Finland 10 times from 2012-2015 documenting Heikkis fight against cancer, our family's life, and capturing intimate, tragic, joyful moments - including the birth of my cousins son,  my uncle Heikkis marriage, and my children's first summer visits to Finland.  Over those trips I also interviewed my family about their thoughts on SISU, life, death, FInland, and our connection to nature through our ancestral land and summer cottage.

This documentary is 100% not for profit. All proceeds have been given to youth and Families going through tragedy and still facing that moment in life with SISU.  
SISU Filmmaker Marko Albrecht