Languages Archives: Finnish

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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     81 minutes


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.”


 Finnish with subtitles 

Screenings & Events


Film Credits

  •   Aki Kaurismäki, Misha Jaari, Mark Lwoff, Reinhard Brundig
  •   Aki Kaurismäki
  •   Samu Heikkilä
  •   Timo Salminen
  •   Alma Pöysti, Jussi Vatanen, Janne Hyytiäinen, Nuppu Koivu
  •   Spitnik Oy, Bufo


International Competition Program Sponsor

John and Jacolyn Bucksbaum Family Foundation