The Match Factory Girl is a fabulous black comedy starring Kati Outinen in a brilliant leading role as Iris, a shy young factory worker.
Iris is trapped in a desperate situation. She still lives at home with her dominant, egocentric parents, and she works on an assembly line in a match factory. She has no luck in love, either: when she finally finds a man, she gets pregnant right away and the man in question wants nothing more to do with her. Iris has had enough, and the time has come for her to take revenge on those who stand between her and her happiness.
The Match Factory Girl, which was acclaimed at the 1990 Berlin Film Festival, was the first of a series of tragicomic Kaurismäki films to be awarded prize after prize.
This movie is part of the retrospective called ‘The Essential Aki Kaurismäki’, for which his best films have been digitally restored. The extensive oeuvre of Finnish maestro Kaurismäki receives praise for its attention to humans facing precarious circumstances. Time and again, the director tells tales of loneliness and disturbed love, all in his typical style: bone dry, comical and nostalgic. Kaurismäki’s characters turn out to be – in and among all vodka-marinated melancholy and accordion music – more than losers. They are likeable heroes who suffer from a life that still manages, time after time, to be worth living. Kaurismäki allows his tragicomic narratives to be rooted in the mundane. He is also famous for his attention to the emotional effects of colour.