The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »
Khaled, syrian refugee stows away on a freighter to Helsinki. Meanwhile, Wikström is a traveling salesman who wins big at a poker table and buys himself a restaurant with the proceeds. When the authorities turn down his application for asylum, Khaled is forced underground and Wikström finds him sleeping in the yard behind his restaurant. He offers him a job and a roof over his head and, for a while, they form a Utopian union with the restaurant's waitress, the chef and his dog.Written by
Prior the film's release director-producer Aki Kaurismäki and his long-time set decorator Markku Pätilä got into dispute on how the credits are listed in the Finnish titled version as all set related credits (set decorator, property master and set builder) are listed under single title "Lavastus". Kaurismäki's response for that this wording would downgrade Pätilä's role and artistic rights in the set design, Kaurismäki rejected these claims and also said Kaurismäki himself designed the detailed visual look of the film and even provided large part of the props. The response also promised that in the international version with English titles Pätilä would be the only person listed under title "set decorator". On February 1st 2017 Pätilä and his lawyers filed a case to The Market Court in Helsinki to seek injunction on film's release in Finland in its current form and the next day the court ruled that there is no need to ban the film and the issues regarding the rights on the film's set design will be determined later - assuming the parties cannot reach a settlement outside the court prior that. See more »
Syrian refuge Khaled arrives by sheer chance in Finland from war- torn Aleppo. We follow him as his application for asylum is processed. He is befriended by an Iraqi refuge at the refuge centre, and his journey in Finland begins here.
The officials are coldly efficient - with flashes of humanity - in a kafkaesque depiction of meaningless application of migration laws.
At the same time, Finnish businessman, Waldemar Wikström, buys a business and the two - very different - worlds of the main characters collide.
The humour is dry, the Finnish 'tango' (ballad-singing) music is wonderful, I absolutely loved it. It is worth seeing the film for this alone.
It is a super 'feel good' film, without the viewer quite being able to put a finger on why this is so.
It is the sheer humanity of it.
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