Jussi Vatanen plays Holappa, a working-class guy who indulges in alcohol and crashes in flats around Kallio, Helsinki. Alma Pöysti portrays Ansa, a lonely woman living with her dog, barely making ends meet. Their paths cross in a gloomy and joyless karaoke bar. Despite this, there's a subtle romantic vibe in the air. Love is challenging, but drinking is all too easy.
In this blue-collar love story directed by Aki Kaurismäki with his trademark big heart, the humor is typically understated, and the world appears to be frozen in the 70s. Mobile phones are absent, but news of the war in Ukraine from the radio ties the events firmly to the present moment. Dead Leaves is already the fifth film by Aki Kaurismäki to compete at the Cannes Film Festival and the fourth part of his working-class trilogy, which includes Shadows in Paradise (1986), Ariel (1988), and The Match Factory Girl(1990).
Actor Jussi Vatanen and producer Misha Jaari will be introducing the film before the screening.