• Dir: Aki Kaurismäki

  • Finland, 1999, Silent, 78mins, DCP

  • Cast: Sakari Kuosmanen, Kati Outinen, André Wilms

It's an age-old story of love and tragedy – a peasant couple whose simple life is ruined by a city slicker, who seduces the naïve wife and sells her into prostitution. Proclaiming that ‘stories have lost their purity’, Aki takes on a daunting venture by turning the morality tale into a silent melodrama, stripping it of audible dialogue and laying out purely with camera, expression, and gesture. Driven entirely by a sensational score and exquisite black-and-white photography, the earnest fable now acquires a touch of deadpan humour and compassionate sorrow beyond its visual elucidation, returning cinema to its essence: innocence.

Berlin International Film Festival: C.I.C.A.E. Award - Honorable Mention