The Man Without a Past

The Man Without a Past ( Original title: Mies vailla menneisyyttä ) is an award-winning film by Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki. It is the second part of a trilogy that began with a cloud over and was then completed with Lights in the Dusk.


A man comes by train in Helsinki and is attacked shortly afterwards and knocked unconscious. When he comes back to the hospital, he has lost his memory. Not even he can not remember his name. In a container settlement he begins a new life. While only stones he be placed in the way as the nameless by the authorities, it is mainly among the socially weak and the poor help. In particular, he is supported by the working at the Salvation Army Irma. The two are finally a couple. Towards the end of the film, also clarifies the past of the man.


As in most of his films exerts Kaurismäki in this critique of a society that does not care about their weakest. This film is much more positive than his predecessors, in which the protagonists fail at the end usually. This circumstance led to the man without a past has been referred to as " modern fairy tale ". The film fill, as usual for Kaurismäki's works, concise dialogues and a laconic humor.


  • " A film that takes its audience, exhilarated, moved and caresses. " Tagesspiegel
  • " A miracle of poetic imagination, a fairy tale of perfect beauty, a film by Anmuts and dignity, a ballad about solidarity among the humiliated and insulted and in his shiny bright primary colors, a pattern of opulent color dramaturgy. " Focus on Film


  • 2003 Bangkok International Film Festival: Golden Kinnaree Award for Best Screenplay
  • 2003: Jussi for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress ( Kati Outinen ), Best Cinematography, Best Editing
  • 2003 Palm Springs International Film Festival: FIPRESCI Prize
  • 2003: Robert Festival: Robert for the best non- American film
  • 2003: European John Templeton Film Award 2002
  • 2002: International Film Festival of Cannes Grand Jury Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize
  • 2002: International Film Festival of Flanders: Golden Trail
  • 2002: Nordic Film Days Lübeck: Audience Award of the Lübeck News
  • 2002: Nordic Council: Film Prize of the Nordic Council
  • 2002: San Sebastián International Film Festival: Grand Prix de la FIPRESCI for the movie of the year


  • 2004: Award of the Argentinean Film Critics Association: Silver Condor for Best Foreign Film
  • 2004: Chlotrudis Award for Best Original Screenplay
  • 2003 Bangkok International Film Festival: Golden Kinnaree Award for Best Film
  • 2003: Bodil for Best Non- American film
  • 2003: César for Best European Film
  • 2003: Sindacato Nazionale Giornalisti Cinematografici Italiani: Nastro d' Argento for Best Director of a foreign film
  • 2002: International Film Festival of Cannes: Palme d'Or for Best Actress ( Kati Outinen )
  • 2002: European Film Awards: Audience Award for Best Director and prices for Best Director, Best Film and Best Writer
  • 2003: Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film

Theater production

2010 staged Dimiter Gotscheff the fabric at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. Premiere was on December 17, 2010.