SHADOWS IN PARADISE
Director: Aki Kaurismäki Run Time: 74 min. Release Year: 1986 Language: Finnish
Starring: Esko Nikkari, Kati Outinen, Kylli Köngäs, Matti Pellonpää, Sakari Kuosmanen
Lonely garbageman Nikkander (Matti Pellonpää) finds himself directionless after losing his friend and co-worker to a sudden heart attack; unlikely redemption comes in the form of plain supermarket cashier Ilona (Kati Outinen, in her first of many performances for Kaurismäki), with whom he begins a tentative love affair. Boiling down what is essentially a romantic comedy to a series of spare and beautiful gestures, Kaurismäki conjures an unexpected delight that finds hope blossoming even amid gray surroundings.