The Man Without a Past
Finnish master Kaurismäki’s brightly idiosyncratic black comedy is a testament to a community’s capacity for kindness and resilience.
It finds an unnamed amnesiac trying to make sense of his place in the world after a beating sees him left for dead. A ragtag bunch of down-and-outs nurse him back to health, as love blooms with Outinen’s Salvation Army worker. Kaurismäki’s rarified blend of social commentary, Keaton-esque deadpan and formal authority has never felt so refined.
This film is part of Comedy Genius, a nationwide season led by BFI, the Independent Cinema Office and BFI Film Audience network, supported by funds from the National Lottery. For more screenings go to bficomedy.co.uk.
Dir: Aki Kaurismäki, Finland, 2002, 97 mins., 12