Aki Kaurismäki is a rare breed. Few filmmakers could deftly combine the drole, deadpan wit of Nordic culture with the strength and resonance of political and social statement, as he does. In honour of his excellent latest feature, The Other Side of Hope, here we present a pair of his best in this regard. Both stories of outsiders trying to build and make sense of their lives – in The Man Without a Past it’s a man in Helsinki with amnesia; in Le Havre it’s a young African boy in France. Both films are funny, distinctive, beautifully framed and, in true Kaurismäki style, both feature excellent dogs.
The Man Without a Past (Mies Vailla Menneisyyttä) Aki Kaurismäki • Finland/Germany/France 2001 • 1h37m • Digital • Finnish with English subtitles • 12A • Contains infrequent moderate violence.
Le Havre Aki Kaurismäki • Finland/France/Germany 2011 • 1h33m • Digital • French with English subtitles • PG • Contains infrequent mild language