Talkative, hyperactive young drifter Ville Alfa goes around Helsinki, basically trying to borrow money from friends and strangers by means of an incessant delivery of quirky and snappy quasi-intellectual lines and fabricated excuses.
Young Alex Sammako has seen his brothers defy the law in a series of deeds that first land them in jail, and then, after they escape and return to their rural home, land them back in the lap of their locally notorious family. Alex wants nothing to do with them. He is in love with Mirja, whose family is not that different from the Sammakos, but who shares Alex’s viewpoints and feelings. Not helping matters is a police department convinced that all Sammakos are bad, and the family itself, pressuring Alex to follow in their murky footsteps.
Giancarlo Rosso, a Sicilian hit man, gets a job to kill someone in Finland. His new target is Maria. Rosso arrives in Helsinki, buys weapons, and comes in hers apartment. After seeing that apartment is deserted, he runs into her brother Martti and, although not speaking each other’s language, together they go to find her…
A lawyer pays a visit to Matti Ojanperä (Matti Pellonpää), a bum living under a bridge in the Helsinki harbour, to inform him that he is about to inherit an American aunt of his. The sum 1,000,000 Fmk would be his, if only he meets the qualifications set by his aunt. He must show that he is capable of ‘living properly’ and possessing a ‘respectable occupation and a family he can support’. Otherwise the money would go to a foundation the chairman of which the lawyer himself happens to be!
Antti “Zombie” Autiomaa does two things well: play the bass guitar and drink. After several months’ sleeping on the streets of Istanbul, he returns to Helsinki where he’s called into the army but discharged on mental health grounds after adding turpentine to the officers’ soup. Zombie lives bleary-eyed in an apartment off his parents’ house where his lonely, unemployed father suffers from heart disease. His girl-friend Marjo has taken up with a hairdresser but comes back to Zombie. His friend Harri hires him as a roadie for his band “Harry and the Mulefukkers” then gives him a chance as a bass player. He has his girl and he has a gig, but can Zombie put the bottle down?
Widowed and broke Finnish businessman Kari takes his two teenage daughters with him to Brazil. A bush pilot introduces him to the idea of gold mining in the jungle, but a beautiful and educated local woman warns him about the possible consequences to the rain forest. Kari has mixed feelings about the project, until an accident puts him in the care of a local Indian tribe.
A movie by Mika Kaurismaki.
A sort of “Divorce Finnish Style,” Mika Kaurismäki’s rambunctious comedy, The House of Branching Love , recounts the breakup of a thirty-something professional couple – Juhani, a family therapist, and his wife, Tuula, a successful business trainer.
A sly riff on the Prodigal Son story, Mika Kaurismaki’s latest — about a joyless workaholic concert pianist who ends up on a wild ride with his long-lost rapscallion father — is a funny and cogent analysis of machismo, abandonment issues and the value of reconnecting with one’s roots. (TIFF)