Fallen Leaves, a gentle tragicomedy by Aki Kaurismäki, selected to Official Competition in Cannes

April 13, 2023

The film about two people looking for love stars Alma Pöysti and Jussi Vatanen. Festival de Cannes takes place May 16–27, 2023.

Image: Malla Hukkanen / Sputnik

Fallen Leaves, the 20th feature film from Aki Kaurismäki, has been selected to the Official Competition of the Cannes Film Festival. The film is a gentle tragicomedy about two lonely people who meet by chance at night in Helsinki and try to find their first, only and last love. Alma Pöysti (Tove, Four Little Adults) and Jussi Vatanen (Unknown Soldier, Forest Giant) lead the cast.

With the film, Kaurismäki tips his hat to Bresson, Ozu and Chaplin, wanting to tell a story about the things that may lead humanity to a future: longing for love, solidarity, hope, and respect for another human being, nature and anything living or dead. The film is inspired by the song Les feuilles mortes (“dead leaves”) composed by Joseph Kosma with lyrics by Jacques Prévert

Filmed in Helsinki, the fourth film in Kaurismäki’s proletariat trilogy (Shadows in Paradise, Ariel and The Match Factory Girl) is his fifth film in the Official Competition in Cannes after Drifting Clouds (1996), The Man Without a Past (2002, Grand Prix), Lights in the Dusk (2006) and Le Havre (2011). In addition, Shadows in Paradise (1986) and Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatjana (1994) were selected to Directors’ Fortnight. 

Fallen Leaves is produced by Sputnik and Bufo with Pandora Film. It is sold internationally by The Match Factory. The film is supported by the Finnish Film Foundation and it is produced in co-operation with Yle and ZDF Arte.

Festival de Cannes