Aki Kaurismäki To Direct Topical ‘Refugee’

Aki Kaurismäki To Direct Topical 'Refugee'

The films of Aki Kaurismäki tend to focus on outsiders, those on the fringes of mainstream society, though any politics have been suggested rather than explicitly stated. However, for his next feature, the title alone won’t make any mistake about what it’s about.

The director behind “The Man Without A Past,” “The Match Factory Girl,” and “Drifting Clouds,” among others, will next get behind the camera for “Refugee.” It’s a working title for now, but it will mark second chapter in the filmmaker’s “port city trilogy,” following 2011’s lovely and hilarious “Le Havre.” And the picture will draw on the current refugee crisis for inspiration. 

READ MORE: New Films From James Franco, Paul Verhoeven, And Aki Kaurismäki Added To Rome Film Festival

“The situation in Tornio – a border town in north-eastern Finland – roused something in me. I developed the project just last week,” the director told TV-Maailma (via Cineuropa).

Plot details are vague at the moment, but it centers on a group of refugees arriving in Finland, with an Iraqi or Syrian actor to play lead role. Kaurismäki regular Sakari Kuosmanen (“The Man Without A Past,” “Drifting Clouds,” “Leningrad Cowboys Go America,” “Shadows In Paradise“) takes the role of a poker playing restauranteur and former traveling salesman.

Production begins next fall, with a 2017 release date eyed. So, it’s still a bit of a wait, but the good news is that Kaurismäki has something new coming, which is worth getting excited about.

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