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Mies vailla menneisyyttä
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The Man Without a Past (2002) More at IMDbPro »Mies vailla menneisyyttä (original title)

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The Man Without a Past -- 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.


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Down 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Aki Kaurismäki (written by)
View company contact information for The Man Without a Past on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 August 2002 (Sweden) See more »
The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 23 wins & 21 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Reducing the world into a man, a woman, a dog and trains See more (114 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Markku Peltola ... M

Kati Outinen ... Irma
Juhani Niemelä ... Nieminen
Kaija Pakarinen ... Kaisa Nieminen
Sakari Kuosmanen ... Anttila
Annikki Tähti ... Manager of Flea Market
Anneli Sauli ... Bar Owner
Elina Salo ... Dock Clerk

Outi Mäenpää ... Bank Clerk
Esko Nikkari ... Bank Robber
Pertti Sveholm ... Police Detective
Matti Wuori ... Layer
Aino Seppo ... Ex-wife
Janne Hyytiäinen ... Ovaskainen
Antti Reini ... Electrician
Tähti ... Hannibal (also as Tähti-Koira)
Marko Haavisto ... Salvation Army Band Member
Jukka Teerisaari ... Salvation Army Band Member
Jyrki Telilä ... Salvation Army Band Member
Jouni Saario ... Salvation Army Band Member
Risto Korhonen ... Mugger
Panu Vauhkonen ... Mugger
Tom Wahlroos ... Mugger
Vesa Mäkelä ... Railwaystation Guard
Aarre Karén ... Doctor (as Aarre Karen)
Eeva-Liisa Haimelin ... Nurse
Kalevi Heinämaa ... Boot-stealer
Anton Peltola ... Nieminen's Son
Joona Karastie ... Nieminen's Son
Jouni Marjaranta ... Accordion Player
Tuire Tuomisto ... Salvation Army Girl
Vappu Lysti ... Salvation Army Choir Memeber
Ritva Harteva ... Salvation Army Choir Member
Raija Lähteinen ... Salvation Army Choir Member
Eeva Penttinen ... Salvation Army Choir Member
Peter von Bagh ... Salvation Army Officer
Matti Oinonen ... Salvation Army Officer
Aarno Kuussalo ... Salvation Army Officer
Aarre Ritola ... Salvation Army Officer
Eira Ritvanen ... Vendor in Bar
Anja Angel ... Homeless in Doorway
Pentti Kirstilä ... Homeless in Doorway
Olli Varja ... Drunk
Keijo Nyrhinen ... Man in Waste-tank
Liisa Kuoppamäki ... Unemployment Office Clerk
Sulevi Peltola ... Unemployment Office Manager
Erkki Lahti ... Lindström
Markku Pätilä ... Jokinen
Helka Viljanen ... Cook at Bar
Eero Nykänen ... Dock Foreman
Erkki Puskala ... Dock Foreman
Henry Astikainen ... Welder at Dock
Silu Seppälä ... Ruffian
Juha Springare ... Police Officer
Jukka Salmi ... Police Officer
Aki Hirvensalo ... Police Officer
Pasi Kokkoniemi ... Police Officer
Mika Roiha ... Police Officer
Andrey Chernyshov ... Mechanic (as Andrei Tchernousov)
Matti Nylund ... Mechanic
Jouni Kortesato ... Man at Restaurant
Timo Linnasalo ... Man at Restaurant
Heikki Mattila ... Man at Restaurant
Hanna Jokinen ... Cook
Toni Salminen ... Train Stewart
Pentti Auer ... Chief Bureaucrat
Olavi Tuomi ... Chief Bureaucrat
Inkeri Ahola ... Avustaja (extra) (as Ahola Inkeri)
Annamari Ajo ... Avustaja (extra) (as Ajo Annamari)
Esko Aksela ... Avustaja (extra) (as Aksela Esko)
Christian Aniche ... Avustaja (extra) (as Aniche Christian)
Obidra Aniche ... Avustaja (extra) (as Aniche Obidra)
Leiff Berg ... Avustaja (extra) (as Berg Leiff)
Atte Blom ... Avustaja (extra) (as Blom Atte)
Eino Bollström ... Avustaja (extra) (as Bollström Eino)
Erkki Greus ... Avustaja (extra) (as Greus Erkki)
Pia Gustafsson ... Avustaja (extra) (as Gustafsson Pia)
Reino Halonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Halonen Reino)
Seppo Harjunpää ... Avustaja (extra) (as Harjunpää Seppo)
Erno Haukkala ... Avustaja (extra) (as Haukkala Erno)
Rauno Heikkilä ... Avustaja (extra) (as Heikkilä Rauno)
Pertti Heikkonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Heikkonen Pertti)
Reima Heiskanen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Heiskanen Reima)
Kauko Hietanen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Hietanen Kauko)
Erkki Hiltunen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Hiltunen Erkki)
Marjatta Hiltunen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Hiltunen Marjatta)
Ismo Hirvonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Hirvonen Ismo)
Tauno Holmström ... Avustaja (extra) (as Holmström Tauno)
Jyri Hämäläinen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Hämäläinen Jyri)
Teuvo Härkönen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Härkönen Teuvo)
Jussi Jalkanen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Jalkanen Jussi)
Jari Jolkkonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Jolkkonen Jari)
Seppo Juusonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Juusonen Seppo)
Tommi Kaarna ... Avustaja (extra) (as Kaarna Tommi)
Mika Kainulainen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Kainulainen Mika)
Esko Kauppinen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Kauppinen Esko)
Leena Kaurismäki ... Avustaja (extra) (as Kaurismäki Leena)
Arto Keränen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Keränen Arto)
Meeri Kiukas ... Avustaja (extra) (as Kiukas Meeri)
Toivo Koivisto ... Avustaja (extra) (as Koivisto Toivo)
Kari Koukkari ... Avustaja (extra) (as Koukkari Kari)
Marketta Kujamäki ... Avustaja (extra) (as Kujamäki Marketta)
Maire Kuussalo ... Avustaja (extra) (as Kuussalo Maire)
Jouni Laakkonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Laakkonen Jouni)
Ritva Laaksovirta ... Avustaja (extra) (as Laaksovirta Ritva)
Henri Lagerroos ... Avustaja (extra) (as Lagerroos Henri)
Kirsti Lamminen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Lamminen Kirsti)
Liisa Lehikoinen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Lehikoinen Liisa)
Juha Lehtonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Lehtonen Juha)
Anne Leino ... Avustaja (extra) (as Leino Anne)
Jorma Leino ... Avustaja (extra) (as Leino Jorma)
Kari Lindström ... Avustaja (extra) (as Lindström Kari)
Lars Lindström ... Avustaja (extra) (as Lindström Lars)
Lauri Linna ... Avustaja (extra) (as Linna Lauri)
Ismo Liukkonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Liukkonen Ismo)
Jarmo Luoma ... Avustaja (extra) (as Luoma Jarmo)
Antti Lähteinen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Lähteinen Antti)
Roosa Lähteinen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Lähteinen Roosa)
Seppo Majasto ... Avustaja (extra) (as Majasto Seppo)
Pentti Makkonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Makkonen Pentti)
Pekka Malmi ... Avustaja (extra) (as Malmi Pekka)
Harri Nieminen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Nieminen Harri)
Miira Niska ... Avustaja (extra) (as Niska Miira)
Juha Nivala ... Avustaja (extra) (as Nivala Juha)
Antti Nuojankoski ... Avustaja (extra) (as Nuojankoski Antti)
Juha Nurmi ... Avustaja (extra) (as Nurmi Juha)
Mika Nurminen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Nurminen Mika)
Seppo Nykänen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Nykänen Seppo)
Richard Nyman ... Avustaja (extra) (as Nyman Richard)
Kirsi Pasanen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Pasanen Kirsi)
Timo Patjas ... Avustaja (extra) (as Patjas Timo)
Saini Penttilä ... Avustaja (extra) (as Penttilä Saini)
Juha Pesonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Pesonen Juha)
Anna Puupponen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Puupponen Anna)
Maiju Puupponen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Puupponen Maiju)
Minna Rahikka ... Avustaja (extra) (as Rahikka Minna)
Jukka Rautiainen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Rautiainen Jukka)
Reino Riihitupa ... Avustaja (extra) (as Riihitupa Reino)
Antti Ruishalme ... Avustaja (extra) (as Ruishalme Antti)
Anja Saastamoinen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Saastamoinen Anja)
Juha Salmen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Salmén Juha)
Juuso Salmen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Salmén Juuso)
Pertti Salmenjoki ... Avustaja (extra) (as Salmenjoki Pertti)
Sanni Salo ... Avustaja (extra) (as Salo Sanni)
Juha Savolainen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Savolainen Juha)
Alpo Seppälä ... Avustaja (extra) (as Seppälä Alpo)
Julle Siika ... Avustaja (extra) (as Siika Julle)
Tauno Sorsa ... Avustaja (extra) (as Sorsa Tauno)
Eero Taipale ... Avustaja (extra) (as Taipale Eero)
Marja-Leena Taipale ... Avustaja (extra) (as Taipale Marja-Leena)
Maarit Tirkkonen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Tirkkonen Maarit)
Veijo Tissari ... Avustaja (extra) (as Tissari Veijo)
Martta Tuomaala ... Avustaja (extra) (as Tuomaala Martta)
Mika Tuuhea ... Avustaja (extra) (as Tuuhea Mika)
Tuula Törmälä ... Avustaja (extra) (as Törmälä Tuula)
Sinikka Usvamaa ... Avustaja (extra) (as Usvamaa Sinikka)
Petri Uusranta ... Avustaja (extra) (as Uusranta Petri)
Kai Valkeala ... Avustaja (extra) (as Valkeala Kai)

Samuel Vauramo ... Avustaja (extra) (as Vauramo Samuli)
Ritva Vepsä ... Avustaja (extra) (as Vepsä Ritva)
Pentti Viljakainen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Viljakainen Pentti)
Raimo Virrantuomi ... Avustaja (extra) (as Virrantuomi Raimo)
Kai Vuorinen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Vuorinen Kai)
Konsta Väänänen ... Avustaja (extra) (as Väänänen Konsta)

Directed by
Aki Kaurismäki 
Writing credits
Aki Kaurismäki (written by)

Produced by
Aki Kaurismäki .... producer
Eila Werning .... co-producer: YLE TV1
Cinematography by
Timo Salminen 
Film Editing by
Timo Linnasalo 
Art Direction by
Markku Pätilä 
Costume Design by
Outi Harjupatana 
Makeup Department
Nadja Delcos .... makeup artist
Production Management
Ilkka Mertsola .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nadja Delcos .... assistant director
Art Department
Jouni Kortesato .... property master
Jukka Rautiainen .... set dresser
Pertti Salmenjoki .... set dresser
Jukka Salmi .... set designer
Sound Department
Jouko Lumme .... sound
Tero Malmberg .... sound
Olli Pärnänen .... sound mixer
Visual Effects by
Risto Jankkila .... digital restoration: TV master
Robert Lang .... digital film colorist
Camera and Electrical Department
Henri Heino .... lighting technician
Marja-Leena Hukkanen .... still photographer
Kalle Penttilä .... gaffer
Antti Reini .... lighting trainee
Rauno Ronkainen .... assistant camera
Antti Ruusuvuori .... lighting technician
Nea Salminen .... second assistant camera
Toni Salminen .... lighting technician
Jukka Talikka .... Steadicam operator
Elsa Varja .... lighting trainee
Olli Varja .... gaffer
Editorial Department
Tuija Kotamäki .... negative cutter
Timo Nousiainen .... color grader
Music Department
Olli Kykkänen .... music mixer
Olli Kykkänen .... music recordist
Ken Yokoyama .... composer: song "Hawaii no yoru"
Other crew
Haije Alanoja .... production secretary
Haije Alanoja .... script supervisor
Erkki Astala .... production support: Suomen Elokuvasäätiö
Mimmo Hildén .... caterer (as Mimmo Hilden)
Marja-Leena Hukkanen .... continuity
Eevi Kareinen .... production assistant
Tatu Masilkin .... technical assistant
Heikki Mattila .... technical assistant
Jan-Eric Nyström .... title designer
Laurent Nègre .... caterer (as Laurent Negre)
Paula Oinonen .... assistant to director
Paula Oinonen .... dog trainer: Hannibal
Olavi Tuomi .... location manager
Sinikka Usvamaa .... accountant (as Sinikka)
Pepe Ahlqvist .... thanks (as Ahlqvist Pepe)
Aimo Asikainen .... thanks (as Asikainen Aimo)
Henry Bollström .... thanks (as Bollström Henry)
Robert Bollström .... thanks (as Bollström Robert)
Clas-Ove Bruun .... thanks (as Bruun Clas-Ove)
Pekka Gronow .... thanks (as Gronow Pekka)
Tomi Heino .... thanks (as Heino Tomi)
Kari Heiskanen .... thanks (as Heiskanen Kari)
Teemu Ikonen .... thanks (as Ikonen Teemu)
Mikki Jaatinen .... thanks (as Jaatinen Mikki)
Sonja Jatuli .... thanks (as Jatuli Sonja)
Teemu Juntunen .... thanks (as Juntunen Teemu)
Juha Kannisto .... thanks (as Kannisto Juha)
Jaakko Karilainen .... thanks (as Karilainen Jaakko)
Niko Korhonen .... thanks (as Korhonen Niko)
Pirkko Kyckling .... thanks (as Kyckling Pirkko)
Aarne Kähkönen .... thanks (as Kähkönen Aarne)
Teemu Laitinen .... thanks (as Laitinen Teemu)
Robert Lindqvist .... thanks (as Lindqvist Robert)
Carl Lydholm .... thanks (as Lydholm Carl)
Pirjo Neva .... thanks (as Neva Pirjo)
Janne Nieminen .... thanks (as Nieminen Janne)
Kari Norovirta .... thanks (as Norovirta Kari)
Raili Nurminen .... thanks (as Nurminen Raili)
Tapio Oksanen .... thanks (as Oksanen Tapio)
Kaisa Paju .... thanks (as Paju Kaisa)
Pekka Palonen .... thanks (as Palonen Pekka)
Marja Penttinen .... thanks (as Penttinen Marja)
Vesa Perhoniemi .... thanks (as Perhoniemi Vesa)
Antero Puotinen .... thanks (as Puotinen Antero)
Jaakko Rahkonen .... thanks (as Rahkonen Jaakko)
Tuula Saastamoinen .... thanks (as Saastamoinen Tuula)
Kaj Silander .... thanks (as Silander Kaj)
Nils Smeds .... thanks (as Smeds Nils)
Tarja-Tuulikki Tarsala .... thanks (as Tarsala Tarja-Tuulikki)
Pekka Usenius .... thanks (as Usenius Pekka)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Mies vailla menneisyyttä" - Finland (original title)
See more »
Rated PG-13 for some violence
97 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, following Drifting Clouds (1996).See more »
Anachronisms: 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 »
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?
Nieminen:You're selfish.
M:I am a realist. You city people are children of the moment.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Sidewalls (2011)See more »
Do The ShakeSee more »


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57 out of 65 people found the following review useful.
Reducing the world into a man, a woman, a dog and trains, 27 January 2004
Author: Jugu Abraham ( from Trivandrum, Kerala, India

This movie is deceptive--a casual viewing could discard it as another "feel good" film from Europe.

It permeates Christian values without sermons, priests, or any religious hard sell (a small poster of Christ in a booth of the Salvation Army is an exception). Philosophically, it presents Tabula Rasa or a clean slate to begin life anew. The film tends to be absurdist (not even a moan emanates from brutalized victims of violence, broken noses are twisted back painlessly, victims of violence emerge from shadows to mete out justice). The film recalls shades of the brilliance of Tomas Alea's early Cuban films and the humanity of Zoltan Fabri's Hungarian cinema.

The film presents entertainment of a kind that would be alien to Hollywood--a cinematic essay on human values that seem to be a rare commodity the world over. There is no sex; there is no need for it. The poor who live in garbage bins and in empty containers, are rich with pockets full of kindness, helping each other without any expectation of a reward. The rich and powerful (the ex-wife and her lover, the policemen, the hospital staff, the official who rents out illegal living space) seem bereft of true feelings or any human kindness. The poorer sections of society (the electrician, the restaurant staff, the family who nurses the main character, the Salvation Army staff) do good to others, care about others and expect nothing in return.

The film is an affirmation of Christian values without preaching religion. The main female character in love with the man, is ready to sacrifice her love because she genuinely respects marriage vows and even brings a "train" schedule to send off her lover to his wife. The art of giving is sanctified. A man who employed workers believes in paying his workers, even if it meant robbing a bank to do so. A lawyer argues a case well because he likes the Salvation Army. Symbolically, even half a potato among six or eight harvested is given away to some stranger wanting to eat it and avoid scurvy! Again, symbolically there is rain on a clear day to help grow the few potatoes...

The film provides humour of a quaint, Finnish variety. A timid dog that eats leftover peas is called Hannibal--a male name one can associate with a king or even the cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter--even though the dog is female. There are swipes taken against the government and its associated machinery (antiquated laws, North Korean buying Finnish banks, retirement benefits, strikes and strikers, bank staff, corrupt banking practices).

Trains play a crucial role in Kaurismaki's screenplay. It begins and ends the film. It also punctuates the film, when the past is revealed, briefly.

There are possible flaws in the film--the blue tint when the children spot the injured man. The unexplained Japanese dinner with Sake and Japanese music on the train. The significance of the cigar in the script is elusive. The choice of songs, however good, seem to be haphazard.

The script is otherwise brilliant. In glorifying the detritus of society, Kaurismaki seems to affirm there is indeed a link between the tree and falling dead leaf (with reference to a comment by a character in the movie). The train moves on. Forward, not backwards!

Minimizing the world into a man, a woman, a dog and trains, Kaurismaki serves a feast of observations for a sensitive mind--a tale told with a positive approach to move on and seize the day. It is a political film, an avant garde film, a comedy and a religious film, all lovingly bundled together by a marvelous cast.

Finland should thank Kaurismaki--he is her best ambassador. He makes the viewer love the Finns, warts and all!

Was the above review useful to you?
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Weird acting necronomicon80
This one feels... tyroneslothrop
What are the titles of the trilogy? Re Man Without a Past. TweetyonIMDB
What are the titles of the trilogy? Re Man Without a Past. TweetyonIMDB
Reccomend Finnish films please... entertainme84
The movies does not show you the present state of Finland. newsalor
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