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FALLEN LEAVES Kuolleet lehdet

2023 – DCP – color – 81’


Direction: Aki Kaurismäki

Screenplay: Aki Kaurismäki

Cinematography: Timo Salminen

Editing: Samu Heikkilä

Set design: Ville Grönroos

Costumes: Tiina Kaukanen

Cast: Alma Pöysti (Ansa), Jussi Vatanen (Holappa), Janne Hyytiäinen (Huotari), Nuppu Koivu (Liisa)

Producers: Aki Kaurismäki, Misha Jaari, Mark Lwoff, Reinhard Brundig

Production: Sputnik Oy (Fi), Bufo (Fi) in co-production with Pandora Film (De)


Fallen Leaves tells the story of two lonely people who meet each other by chance in the Helsinki night and try to find the first, only, and ultimate love of their lives. Their path towards this honourable goal is clouded by the man’s alcoholism, lost phone numbers, not knowing each other’s names or addresses, and life’s general tendency to place obstacles in the way of those seeking their happiness.

This gentle tragicomedy, previously thought to be lost, is the fourth part of Aki Kaurismäki’s working-class trilogy (Shadows in Paradise, Ariel, and The Match Factory Girl).


director’s statement

“Although I have so far made my questionable reputation by making mainly irrelevant violent films, I finally decided, tormented by all the senseless, unnecessary and criminal wars, to write a story about the themes through which humanity might have a future: the longing for love, solidarity, hope, and respect for other people, nature and anything living or dead. With the precondition that the subject deserves it.

In this film, I casually tip my too-small hat to my household gods Bresson, Ozu and Chaplin, but I am still solely responsible for this catastrophic failure.”


premi awards

2023 Festival di Cannes – Competition: Jury Prize

2023 Münich FF –  International Competition: Audience Award

2023 San Sebàstian IFF:  Grand Prix – Best Film of 2023

2023 Jameson CineFest – Miskolc IFF:  ad Adolph Zukor Prize to Aki Kaurismäki