Celebrate Valentine’s Day Finnish-style at Scandinavia House with Fallen Leaves (Kuolleet lehdet, Finland, 2023), award-winning director Aki Kaurismäki’s triumphant new film about love, chance and fate!
Kaurismäki (Le Havre, The Other Side of Hope) makes a masterful return with Fallen Leaves, a timeless, hopeful and satisfying love story that won the Jury Prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Set in present-day Helsinki, the film tells the story of Ansa (Alma Pöysti) and Holappa (Jussi Vatanen), two lonely souls whose chance meeting at a local karaoke bar is beset by numerous hurdles. From lost phone numbers to mistaken addresses, alcoholism and a charming stray dog, the pair’s path to happiness is as bittersweet as it is ultimately delightful.
Shot through with Kaurismäki’s typically playful, idiosyncratic style and deadpan sense of humor, this tender romantic tragicomedy is both a loving tribute to the filmmaker’s beloved contemporaries and a timely reminder of the potency of movie-going from one of cinema’s living legends.
“Aki Kaurismäki’s almost feelgood romance is a droll delight” (The Guardian)
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Born in 1957, Aki Kaurismäki grew up in “the age terrorized by television” and has tried and managed to capture the inseparable truths of the real world and screen world. He has never worked in any other format and is proud to represent the continuity of cinematic tradition. Having never studied at the Finnish Film School, Kaurismäki’s minimalist style is all his own. At the same time, his films are full of references, acting as inconspicuous participants in a constant dialogue which reveals our environment, society and psyche as it is now and as it was during the tender years of his childhood. Though little-known to international audiences, Finnish culture—local customs, “objects of love” and allusions to well-known Finnish films, books, and artworks—features prominently in the director’s work.