Feted Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki says 'adios' to film-making

Finnish director and screenwriter Aki Kaurismaki arrives on the red carpet for the premiere of the film The Other Side of Hope in competition at the 67th Berlinale film festival in Berlin.
Finnish director and screenwriter Aki Kaurismaki arrives on the red carpet for the premiere of the film The Other Side of Hope in competition at the 67th Berlinale film festival in Berlin.PHOTO: AFP

HELSINKI (AFP) - Acclaimed Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki is quitting film-making, he told Finnish public broadcaster YLE at the Berlin international film festival on Thursday.

"I've said this before, but this time it's really 'adios'. We're close to this remaining my last film," he said, referring to his latest film, The Other Side Of Hope, which had its international premiere earlier this week at the festival.

The comedy-drama about a Syrian migrant who seeks asylum in Finland was supposed to be the second instalment in what the director planned as a migration-themed trilogy. The first instalment was his 2011 movie Le Havre.

"I am tired. I want to start living my own life at last," the 59-year-old said, explaining why he didn't want to finish the trilogy.

The Other Side Of Hope drew cheers at a press preview on Tuesday at the Berlin film festival, where it is in competition for the Golden Bear top prize to be awarded Saturday.

It recounts the melancholy fate of Syrian migrant Khaled, played by Syrian actor Sherwan Haji, who ends up against his will in remote Finland.

Kaurismaki's previous film Le Havre, a tale about an African immigrant boy in the eponymous French port city, was awarded the International Federation of Film Critics Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.