The Man Without a Past

Release Date: April 4, 2003
Limited release

Joan Rivers gets more work done.

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This award-winning film from Finland takes an interesting look at the typical amnesia film. The movie is written and directed by veteran Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki and has won quite a bit of critical acclaim on the film festival circuit, including big prizes at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.

The movie's main character, named just simply "M" (Markku Peltola), takes a trip to Helsinki to get a job. However, fate intervenes and he is brutally beaten during a mugging. He ends up in a hospital with a case of amnesia. Without his memory, he has to try and start his life over from scratch. A charming Salvation Army worker (Kati Outinen) helps out “M” and ends up falling in love with him during their time together.

The unique aspect of this story is that "M" tries to make a new life for himself, rather that trying to find his past. He makes a new group of friends among the people that take advantage of the Salvation Army's services. Even though they are dirt poor, they provide true dignity, generosity, and friendship.

This film was Finland's entry in the Foreign Language category at this year's Academy Awards ceremony. As I mentioned before, it has won huge critical praise and been very well received by audiences. One thing to keep in mind, this movie is currently in Finnish with English subtitles. It has not been dubbed unlike quite a few foreign films we get in the United States. This may be one to take a chance on if it comes to a film festival near you. (Marty Doskins/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Man Without a Past
Main Cast Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen
Supporting Cast Annikki Tahti, Juhani Niemela, Elina Salo
Director Aki Kaurismaki
Screenwriter Aki Kaurismaki
Distributor Sony Pictures Classics
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 97 minutes
Screen Count 2
  • 2002 Cannes Film Festival - Best Actress (Kati Outinen), Grand Prize of the Jury, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
  • 2002 Flanders Int'l Film Festival - Golden Spur Award
  • 2002 Nordic Council - Nordic Council's Film Prize
  • 2002 San Sebastian Int'l Film Festival - FIPRESCI Film of the Year

Awards page for The Man Without a Past
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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