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Legendary filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki: There will be no more films

Finland’s best-known filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki says his newest film “The Other Side of Hope,” which is in the running at the Berlin Film Festival this week, will be his last.

Aki Kaurismäki.
Image: Odd Andersen / Lehtikuva

Finland’s best-known film director Aki Kaurismäki has announced that he will stop making movies.

“I’m tired. I want to start living my own life,” Kaurismäki told Yle in an interview at the Berlinale, the Berlin Film Festival on Thursday.

Kaurismäki’s newest film “The Other Side of Hope,” about the plight of a Syrian immigrant seeking asylum in Helsinki is up for the top prize, the Golden Bear, at the prestigious Berlin festival.

“I have said this before, but it really is adios now," said Kaurismäki, who seemed very tired.

Kaurismäki's reference to "before" harks back to 1994, when he and Polish director Krzystof Kieslowski announced at that year's Berlin Film Festival that they would no longer make films.

No final film for trilogy

Kaurismäki’s announcement means that his intended port city trilogy will feature only two movies, the first of which "Le Havre" was released in 2011.

Aki Kaurismäki has directed 18 feature-length movies. His career began in the 1980s when he made his first films with his filmmaker brother Mika Kaurismäki.

Aki Kaurismäki’s movies have been nominated for Oscars. In 2003, when his "The Man Without a Past" was nominated for an Oscar, he boycotted the Oscar Gala to protest US foreign policy in Iraq.

Kaurismäki, who turns 60 in April, has received numerous international awards, as all as domestic ones for his poignant, deadpan portrayals of life's underdogs.

"The Other Side of Hope" has received favourable reviews, including The Guardian newspaper’s glowing four-star review earlier this week.

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