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In a lightly attended screening in the movie theater, a man glances at the woman seated next to him.

Fallen Leaves

  •   Aki Kaurismäki
  •   Finland, Germany

One cold night in Helsinki, two strangers meet by chance in a karaoke bar. He is a wayward alcoholic construction worker searching for meaning. She’s a lonely dreamer who spends her days stocking supermarket shelves and fantasizing about a better life. There’s a spark of instant attraction, but a slew of unfortunate everyday obstacles — lost phone numbers, missed meetings, and the fact that they don’t know each other’s names — makes it seem as if they’ve missed their chance at true love.

A masterpiece of detail and decor, Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismäki imbues this tender, deeply felt romance with wry wit and a light touch. Set against a brooding background of dead-end jobs and looming war, his empathetic protagonists continue to hope for something more. In the words of the director: “It felt like this bloody world needed some love stories now.”

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International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation

Event Information

Sunday, October 15, 2023

  •   81 minutes
1500 N Clybourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60610 United States

  • Closed Captions
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Cinema/Chicago is committed to fostering an inclusive and accessible environment at all our programs and events. All event venues are fully wheelchair accessible, with no-step entrances or ramp access and elevators. All venues offer wheelchair-designated spaces, companion seating, easy-access theater seating, and accessible restrooms. For accommodation requests, please email us at access@chicagofilmfestival.com, call us at 312-683-0121, x108, or complete our Accommodation Request Form.

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