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The Man Without a Past (2002)

Mies vailla menneisyyttä (original title)
The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 21 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
M
...
Irma
Juhani Niemelä ...
Nieminen
Kaija Pakarinen ...
Kaisa Nieminen
Sakari Kuosmanen ...
Annikki Tähti ...
Manager of Flea Market
Anneli Sauli ...
Bar Owner
Elina Salo ...
Dock Clerk
...
Bank Clerk
Esko Nikkari ...
Bank Robber
Pertti Sveholm ...
Police Detective
Matti Wuori ...
Layer
Aino Seppo ...
Ex-wife
Janne Hyytiäinen ...
Ovaskainen
Antti Reini ...
Electrician
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Storyline

The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or anything from his past life, he cannot get a job or an apartment, so he starts living on the outskirts of the city and slowly starts putting his life back on track. Written by Jussi Tarvainen <jussi_tarvainen_84@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

6 November 2002 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Without a Past  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

FIM 8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,392 (Finland) (8 November 2002)

Gross:

$921,547 (USA) (19 September 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the bar scene there is a portrait photo of Matti Pellonpää on the wall. He played in numerous Kaurismäki films before his sudden death in 1995. See more »

Goofs

The Helsinki railway station's extension roof is clearly visible at the opening scene, but it hadn't been build yet in 1996 (the year can be read from the newspaper). See more »

Quotes

Nieminen: Rather small potatoes.
M: The weather was bad. But they will make a soup.
Nieminen: When did you plan to make it?
M: Why so interested?
Nieminen: I have an onion. You need it for the soup.
M: I've got eight potatoes. I must save three for winter and at least two as seed potatoes. We farmers must think of the coming years, too. We only eat what is left over. There is not enough for three. I want to invite Irma to dinner.
Nieminen: So none for me?
M: Right.
Nieminen: You're selfish.
M: I am a realist. You city people are children of the moment.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Matka suomalaiseen elokuvaan: Kaupunkiblues (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Valkoiset linnut
Performed by Markus Allan
(Markus Allan / Veikko Juntunen)
Lyrics: Pauli Ylitalo
Arranger: Taisto Wesslin
Published by Sputnik Oy
(P) & © 1997 Sputnik Oy
Licensed courtesy of Sputnik Oy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Utterly delightful
24 July 2004 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

This film is about as fast paced as Finnish films get, I guess. Don't look for a lot of facial expressions and a lot of overt body language because you ain't gonna get it. The film moves slowly like a Saami joiking in the sauna but it wonderful to behold with each deliberate step it takes. The characters may seem a little stiff to those of us unfamiliar with the inscrutable Finns but the great Finnish reserve which overlays the story line is tweaking at our whiskers at every shuffle forward in the story. It is really amazing that we have not seen other Finnish works before. This kind of off-the-wall story which has a wonderful basis of humanity underneath the more real than life characters clustered around a site with little or no conveniences of modern living in their sea container households. The odyssey of M who wanders through his voyage in search of himself only to be reconciled not with his long suffering and long awaiting Penelope but with a frustrated but good-hearted Major Barbara.

There are lots of puns visual and otherwise with the threads of incompetent cops, doctors, nurses, employment office workers interwoven with a comical wannabe bad-guy overseer, a rock'n roll Salvation Army band, a torch-songstress SA Major and the philosophical hero who honestly can't remember.

Check this one out without fail. It's pure fun...but just don't expect it run along at breakneck speed ala Hollywood...!


32 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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