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The Man Without a Past

On arrival in Helsinki, a man (Peltola) is viciously mugged and given up for dead - but miraculously revives; without memory or any idea of who he is, the man wanders off into the city, moves in with the homeless living in freight containers around the harbour, and eventually begins to put his life (or someone else's?) back together after falling for a Salvation Army woman (Outinen) at the soup canteen. A typically droll, deadpan comedy from Kaurismäki, complete with nods to '50s B-movies, rock'n'roll, and fairytale romance, but also, like its predecessor Drifting Clouds, addressing social and political issues (unemployment, homelessness, welfare, heartless capitalism) with the lightest of touches. Beautifully tender, funny and idiosyncratic, right down to some lovely stuff featuring a predictably melancholy dog.

Release details

Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Screenwriter: Aki Kaurismäki
Cast: Markku Peltola
Kati Outinen
Juhani Niemelä
Kaija Pakarinen
Sakari Kuosmanen
Annikki Tähti
Anneli Sauli
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