This film is about survival and loss of selfrespect and the struggle to regain it. I find it very warm and positive. An exploration into the mind of northern Europe and the old values.
This colorful film from Finland's great director Aki Kaurismäki is a warm and passionate (note that passionate isn't the same in Finland as in Spain)story of two working class heroes, Illona and Lauri, with their dog and square life. They are content with their existence and are investing in new furniture and a big television set, all on a payment plan. Work is hard and they don't get much time for each other, but they have pride. Then both of them loose their jobs and their self respect with that. They're proud people and will not go on well fare. There's a economic crisis in the country and jobs are hard to find. They have to take really crummy jobs to survive but are cheated and also Lauri discovers his health isn't what it used to be. They have a few deep looks into the depth of the bottle and any signs of ever getting back are slim. Then Illona, motivated by an ex fellow worker gets a plan... This film is about survival and loss of self respect and the struggle to regain it. I find it very warm and positive. An exploration into the mind of northern Europe and the old values. A good worker needs no help, he stands tall on his own. Also the tango music in the film is wonderful in it's bittersweetness. It's a story of change, when the old reality has to be updated and the pain that can cause.
- May 9, 2001
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