Aki Kaurismäki back after five years with Refugee
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- The Finnish director will film the next part of his port-cities trilogy, which started with Le Havre in 2011
Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, whose most recent feature was Le Havre [+see also:
interview: Aki Kaurismäki
film profile] (2011), which garnered him 15 national and international awards, announced then that it would be the beginning of a trilogy focusing on port cities. Now he is ready with part two: Refugee (working title).
A contender for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, where it won the international film critics’ FIPRESCI Prize (and the Palm Dog), Le Havre cleaned up at the Jussi Awards – the Finnish national film prize – where it picked up six statuettes, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Script.
While Le Havre follows a shoeshiner who tries to save a refugee child, Refugee will focus on the current migrant crisis, which has also hit Finland: “The situation in Tornio – a border town in north-eastern Finland – roused something in me. I developed the project just last week,” Kaurismäki said in an interview with the TV-Maailma weekly.
In the film, a group of refugees arrive in Finland. The lead character, a young refugee, will be played by a Syrian or Iraqi actor. A Kaurismäki regular, Finnish actor Sakari Kuosmanen (The Man Without a Past [+see also:
film profile]), will play a former travelling salesman who has become a poker player and now a restaurateur.
According to Finnish Film & Audiovisual Export, Refugee will shoot in the autumn of 2016, with a 2017 release on the cards. Kaurismäki has previously made the “Loser Trilogy” (comprising Drifting Clouds, The Man Without a Past and Lights in the Dusk [+see also:
film profile]). He has also received Finland’s so-far only nomination for the Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film (with The Man Without a Past).