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Kauas Pilvet Karkaavat (1996)

Comedy | 96 minutes
3,62 129 votes

Genre: Comedy / Drama

Duration: 96 minuten

Alternative title: Drifting Clouds

Country: Finland

Directed by: Aki Kaurismäki

Stars: Kati Outinen, Kari Väänänen and Elina Salo

IMDb score: 7,6 (9.168)

Releasedate: 26 January 1996


This movie is not available on US streaming services.


Kauas Pilvet Karkaavat plot

The recession hits Finland. Lauri loses his job as a tram driver. Shortly afterwards, his wife Ilona also loses her job as the head waitress in a restaurant. Because they do not want benefits from the government, they are looking for a new job. However, they are not too smart about it, and luck is not on their side either...

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avatar van Dievegge


  • 3023 messages
  • 7771 votes

The theme is serious. We see how a large chain can absorb a small company, how difficult it can be for those left behind to find a job and how risky it is to start a business yourself. Still, it was funny at times with the accumulation of setbacks they had to deal with and how the actress Kati Outinen always kept her deadpan, never-smiling facial expression.

We get to see the two faces of the free market economy. On the one hand there is the harsh side: the takeover of the restaurant, the bank that does not want to grant a loan, outcasts who turn to alcohol... On the other hand, they get out of it thanks to their principle of "whatever comes first". They don't want benefits without working. Her former employer doesn't give her any money, but she invests in the expectation that she will make a profit.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Woland


  • 4179 messages
  • 3436 votes

I think it was my fourth Kaurismäki, and unfortunately I liked this one the least. The film is of course of a great drought, where very ordinary, somewhat boring, introverted people struggle with a reality that does not really cooperate. Companies that are not doing well, layoffs, not getting a loan from the bank, all kinds of minor suffering happens. And yet life does not get to them and they continue to struggle along. Kaurismäki once again manages to create a nicely clumsy, often somewhat uncomfortable atmosphere, but unlike my previous experiences with him, Drifting Clouds does not really grab me with this 'Portrait of the Ordinary Man and Woman' in Finnish. I missed the clumsy humor of Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana or the real depressing and inky humor of The Match Factory Girl; and as heartfelt as the film is, I had trouble keeping my attention. Perhaps a matter of not having the right film at the right time, and it will not be my last Kaurismäki, but AK's status as the most highly regarded film was not lived up to.

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avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8635 messages
  • 4835 votes

The more films I see by Kaurismäki, the more I wonder where the general happiness and sense of prosperity of those Finns comes from. So dreary, depressing and deprived, as if people have barely heard of modern technology. Everything also feels very "Russian", more than European or Scandinavian. Well, watch a film by the Dardenne brothers and you imagine yourself in a developing country.

But I do love it, that rawness, those distant characters. That dryly comic style continues to catch on. Tragedy first, but here and there a quip that makes the sun break through the gray cloud cover.

This follows two laid-off workers who no longer have work due to the negative figures. They should assume what they can, but that creates more problems than solutions. And to try it themselves, they lack their own capital. A vicious circle that many have to deal with, although fortunately there is a happy ending in the making. For once I even thought that was the best outcome for the film.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original