Directed by Aki Kaurismäki

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki

15 Episodes

The wry, deadpan seriocomedies of Finland’s most famous director are infused with both a minimalist cool and the wintry, desolate spirit of their frequent setting, Helsinki. Whether surveying the desperate lives of the down-and-out in his bittersweet Proletariat Trilogy (SHADOWS IN PARADISE, ARIEL, THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL), the comic exploits of “the worst rock-and-roll band in the world” in the uproarious LENINGRAD COWBOYS GO AMERICA and its sequels, or the human side of Europe’s refugee crisis in LE HAVRE and THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE, Kaurismäki finds both gentle humor and cautious optimism in the bleakest of circumstances.

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Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
  • Shadows in Paradise

    Episode 1

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1986 • Finland

    Lonely garbageman Nikkander (Matti Pellonpää) finds himself directionless after losing his friend and co-worker to a sudden heart attack; unlikely redemption comes in the form of plain supermarket cashier Ilona (Kati Outinen, in her first of many per...

  • Ariel

    Episode 2

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1988 • Finland

    In Kaurismäki's drolly existential crime drama, a coal miner named Taisto (Turo Pajala) attempts to leave behind a provincial life of inertia and economic despair, only to get into ever deeper trouble. Yet a minor-key romance with a hilariously dispa...

  • Leningrad Cowboys Go America

    Episode 3

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1989 • Finland

    A struggling Siberian rock band leaves the lonely tundra to tour the United States because, as they're told, "they'll buy anything there." Aki Kaurismäki's winningly aloof farce follows the musicians as they bravely make their way across the New Worl...

  • The Match Factory Girl

    Episode 4

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1990 • Finland, Sweden

    Kaurismäki took his penchant for despairing character studies to unspeakably grim depths in the shockingly entertaining The Match Factory Girl. Kati Outinen is memorably impenetrable as Iris, whose grinding days as a cog in a factory wheel, a...

  • La vie de bohème

    Episode 5

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1992 • France
    Starring André Wilms, Matti Pellonpää, Karl Väänänen

    This deadpan tragicomedy about a group of impoverished, outcast artists living the bohemian life in Paris is among the most beguiling films by Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki. Based on stories from He...

  • Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses

    Episode 6

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1994 • Finland

    Living in Mexico with a top-ten hit under their belts, the Leningrad Cowboys have fallen on hard times. When they head north to rejoin their manager (Kaurismäki mainstay Matti Pellonpää) for a gig in Coney Island, he has turned into a self-proclaimed...

  • Drifting Clouds

    Episode 7

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1996 • Finland
    Starring Kati Outinen, Kari Väänänen, Elina Salo

    The chilly landscapes of Helsinki are warmed by the gentle humanism and wry humor of Aki Kaurismäki in the first installment of his FINLAND TRILOGY, a deadpan tale of everyday survival in the face of ove...

  • Le Havre

    Episode 8

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 2011 • Finland, France
    Starring Blondin Miguel, André Wilms

    In this warmhearted comic yarn from Aki Kaurismäki, fate throws the young African refugee Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (André Wilms), a kindly old bohemian who shines shoes for a liv...

  • The Other Side of Hope

    Episode 9

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 2017 • Finland

    This wry, melancholic comedy from Aki Kaurismäki, a response to the ongoing global refugee crisis, follows two people searching for a place to call home. Khaled (Sherwan Haji), a displaced Syrian, lands in Helsinki as a stowaway; meanwhile, middle-ag...

  • Rocky VI

    Episode 10

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1986 • Finland

    The music video for 'Rocky VI' by the Leningrad Cowboys.

  • Thru the Wire

    Episode 11

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1987 • Finland

    The music video for 'Thru the Wire' by the Leningrad Cowboys.

  • L.A. Woman

    Episode 12

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1987 • Finland

    The music video for 'L.A. Woman' by the Leningrad Cowboys.

  • Those Were the Days

    Episode 13

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1992 • Finland

    The music video for 'Those Were the Days' by the Leningrad Cowboys.

  • These Boots

    Episode 14

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1993 • Finland

    The music video for 'These Boots' by the Leningrad Cowboys.

  • Total Balalaika Show

    Episode 15

    Directed by Aki Kaurismäki • 1994 • Finland

    Aki Kaurismäki's film of the Leningrad Cowboys’ massive concert in Helsinki’s Senate Square with the 150-member Alexandrov Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble is a loving tribute to the rock band he made famous. Seventy thousand people turned out for ...