Ariel (film)

Ariel is a 1988 Finnish drama film directed and written by Aki Kaurismäki. The film tells the story of Taisto Kasurinen (Turo Pajala), a Finnish coal miner who must find a way to live in the big city after the mine closes.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byAki Kaurismäki
Produced byAki Kaurismäki
Written byAki Kaurismäki
Music by
CinematographyTimo Salminen
Edited byRaija Talvio
Villealfa Filmproductions
Distributed byFinnkino
Release date
  • 21 October 1988 (1988-10-21)
Running time
72 minutes[1]

Taisto's friend is played by Matti Pellonpää, an actor who appeared in many of Kaurismäki's early films, before his death in 1995.

This is the second film in Kaurismäki's Proletariat Trilogy (Shadows in Paradise, Ariel, and The Match Factory Girl). The trilogy has been released on Region One DVD by Criterion, in their Eclipse box-sets.[2] The film is included in the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die list. The film was entered into the 16th Moscow International Film Festival where Turo Pajala won the Bronze St. George for Best Actor.[3]


  • Turo Pajala as Taisto Kasurinen
  • Susanna Haavisto as Irmeli
  • Matti Pellonpää as Mikkonen
  • Eetu Hilkamo as Riku
  • Erkki Pajala as miner
  • Matti Jaaranen as mugger
  • Hannu Viholainen as accomplice
  • Jorma Markkula as tallyman
  • Tarja Keinänen as woman in the harbour
  • Eino Kuusela as man on the beach

Home media

A digitally restored version of the film was released on DVD by The Criterion Collection as part of their Eclipse Series.[4]


  1. "Ariel". British Board of Film Classification. 30 June 1989.
  2. "16th Moscow International Film Festival (1989)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 16 March 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  3. Kaurismäki, Aki. "Ariel". The Criterion Collection.

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