The Man Without a Past (Kaurismäki, 2002)

This review contains spoilers (last sentence).

The Man Without a Past (Aki Kaurismäki, 2002)

Quiet and brutal poverty set to an amnesia storyline makes up Kaurismäki’s The Man Without a Past. Very spiritual in the way the main character’s past life is completely wiped out, the film takes us on a journey of a man starting from scratch, focusing on his new life, and spending very little time trying to remember his old life. Though the film is rather cold style-wise (characters speak slowly and deliberately, rarely showing emotion), there is a warmth in the way he connects to the people surrounding him, despite his situation. He holds no prejudice towards his impoverished surroundings, makes friends, and even starts an adorably awkward romantic relationship. It isn’t until the end of the film that his past comes into play, but sticking with the spiritual undertones, he is able to recognize the harm it would bring and brush it aside to continue down his new path.  8.25/10


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