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Aki Kaurismaki's Filmography as Reflection of Sociocultural Aspects of Everyday Life of the "Lost" Finland

Student: Anastasiya Semenova

Supervisor: Victoria O. Vasileva

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities

Educational Programme: Cultural Studies (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2016

This work is devoted to the study of social and cultural memory of the little-known period in the modern history of Finland. Based on historical cinematic representation, there’s a reconstruction of the visual image of the historical period framed from 1974 to 1996. The “lost” Finland acts as a period of progressive transformation of the country under influence of different political, economic, and cultural external and internal factors. Previously closed, appreciating its traditions, modern Finnish community is rapidly transformed into more progressive and “open” European community, which, however, had lost its cultural and national identity. Since there are little sources relevant to the topic, the main material used in this work is a selection of films directed by Aki Kaurismaki – the follower of “realism” in his works. In the process of viewing and analysis of films there was carried out a search for relevant visual codes that characterize “place of memory” reconstructed by Aki Kaurismaki – the “lost” Finland. In the result of the research, based on the methods of “memory studies” paradigm, we were able to prove that the “lost” Finland indeed has its own social and cultural characteristics; to some extent, it has its documentary evidence in the films of Aki Kaurismaki. The results of this work can be further used in discussions on the studies of social memory (“places of memory”), the phenomenon of nostalgia, as well as the prospects for the preservation of national and cultural identity of the European communities and their collective memory about the past.

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