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The National and Beyond

The Globalisation of Finnish Cinema in the Films of Aki and Mika Kaurismäki


Pietari Kääpä

The films of Aki and Mika Kaurismäki are part of a globalising Finnish cinema, challenging conventional parameters at every turn. This work examines the films that the Kaurismäkis produced, individually and in collaboration, between 1981 and 1995 – films which mobilise various methods to reflect, criticise, counteract and contribute to the globalisation of Finnish society in the era of late capitalist development. This work provides an in-depth analysis of these films, exploring the aesthetic and narrative content of the films as well as their production and reception in Finland. The theoretical scope of the work situates the films not only in the field of transnational cinema, but also that of ‘post-national’ cinema. Exploring the Kaurismäkis’ films in a post-national framework points to new, emergent understandings of both the fragility and the persistence of national culture and identity in a globalising world.