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Finland, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Northern Lights 04 New Scandinavian Cinema)

Director: Mika Kaurismäki

Honey Baby Finland

'You aren't washed up until you're washed up in a small town in Germany.' With these words of comic despair, our anti-hero Tom agrees to tour Russian backwater towns with his set of melancholy acoustic ballads. Stuck in Europe and completely overlooked by fame, the American musician will do just about anything to get home. His fatal decision to accept one last tour offer lands him in hot water with cold-blooded Russian Mafia and triggers an amorous adventure with the stunning but severely messed up Natascha.

Mika Kaurismäki (LA Without a Map, MIFF 1999; Sound of Brazil, MIFF 2002) has crafted a tragi-comic road movie based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. His male lead, Henry Thomas, is a real-life singer-songwriter of no small talent and performs many of the beautiful songs in the film himself (most of the others are written by Nikki Sudden of Swell Maps and Jacobites fame).

Broke, homeless and on the run, Tom and Natascha's trip takes on magical-mystery-tour proportions'from idyllic moments spent with a gypsy circus to a descent into a terrifying mountain bunker nightclub/brothel. Never fear, reality has an ace up her sleeve.

D Mika Kaurismäki P Ulrich Meyszies, Mika Kaurismäki S Mika Kaurismäki, Ulrich Meyszies, Eike Goreczka WS Marianna Films L English, Russian w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col, B&W/2004/104mins

Mika Kaurismäki was born in Orimattila, Finland in 1955. Films include: Amazon (1990), Tigrero (MIFF 1996), Highway Society (2000).

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