Aki Kaurismaki: the man with a past

If you did not watch ‘The man without a past’ from Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki, go and rent it quickly. Crowned at Cannes in 2002, the movie is an intimate look, through the eyes of a man who lost his memory after an accident, at the present state of our humanity.

The main character in the movie wake up at the beginning of the story with his mind in a blank slate, a tabula rasa, to discover the world without preconceptions. However, the world he is discovering has a lot of preconceptions and mainly negative ones on him because he does not fit into society. He has no identity, no name, no work, no belongings, no home and no family. These preconceptions from ‘normal’ society will drive the man very quickly into another world, a world at the margins, where the rules of everyday life, suffering, work, betrayal and love are radically different.

Kaurismaki comes up with a surprising end.

In 2002, Kaurismaki refused to go to the Oscars to promote ‘The man without a past’ which was nominated for best foreign language picture. His refusal was motivated by The US's international politics and by Georges Bush. This was before the Iraq war. This time, Kaurismaki is refusing that the Finnish Academy nominates his film ‘Light in the Dusk’ to represent Finland at the Oscars. His reasons are still the same. The movie will however be distributed in the US.

I think if Bush and his neo-con mentors were able to transform our lives radically by making wars, killing civilians, creating international chaos, restraining liberties and promoting Torture, all this before our eyes, it is because we live in a society who does not have a past, who accepted to construct a past with one single event, September eleventh 2001 and to erase everything that comes before. What is worse is that we are imposing this extermination of the past on other people and other countries and making sure that nothing in the definitions we are creating of our spin fabricated past and theirs will unite us one day, not even minimal universal moral values like human rights and human diginity, what makes us human beings and not merely sacrificial animals at the Bush constructed altar for the Terror God.

Source: AFP, October 18, 2006


Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Hi Sophie,

On another subject:
Sorry for my delayed response, but I’m in the process of moving, and will have no landline internet connection for the next 2 weeks+

Yep: you were right on the money about Immanuel K’s rationalist “speculations”...

Also on another subject: you’ll be happy to learn the Washington Post has officially endorsed Jim Webb!


Sophia said...

We will not then hear from you for two weeks. Bon courage !
Good for Webb. This time the democrats will take over, thanks to people like him because I am not hearing the others, they are still bowing to Bush...
That's very nice of you to drop me a line about your moving.

Since March 29th 2006