Fallen Leaves (2023) | Transcript

In Helsinki, Ansa and Holappa, both struggling with jobs and personal issues, form a connection that survives job losses, addiction, and an accident, leading to hope

Fallen Leaves is a 2023 Finnish-German romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki.

Ansa, a single woman in Helsinki, works in a supermarket on a zero-hour contract, while the lonely Holappa, a sandblaster, struggles with alcoholism on the job. Their paths cross occasionally in the city. After Ansa is fired for taking expired food, she briefly works at a bar, where she meets Holappa and they share a coffee and a movie, but he loses her phone number. As Ansa waits for a call that never comes, Holappa faces his own troubles, losing his job and housing due to drinking. They reunite outside a cinema and Ansa invites him over, but ejects him for drinking in her flat. Holappa, now homeless and jobless, eventually finds a new job and housing, deciding to quit drinking. When he calls to apologize to Ansa, they plan to meet but he is hit by a train on his way. Ansa visits him in the hospital during his coma, and when he wakes up, they leave together, hinting at a new beginning for both.

* * *

Fallen Leaves (2023)





See you tomorrow.

One of the latest news stories is the air strike on a maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol.

About 17 people were wounded, and the President of Ukraine stated… that Russia has committed a war crime. How exceptional is this strike?

It is regrettably quite normal for the Russians.

They destroyed the whole city of Grozny in Chechnya, sites protected under international law were destroyed.

In Syria, they have specifically targeted hospitals to destroy the health infrastructure to prevent…

♪ But I don’t have a nice dress

♪ Or shoes to wear

♪ This baby cries so often

♪ And I can’t sleep too well tonight ♪


That will be the death of you.

No. The black lung will get me first.

I see. You know best.

The number of vices is constant. For instance, you are a babbler.

I’ll think about that at your grave.

A sympathy card will do.

That costs money.

In Ukraine, Russian attacks on civilian targets continue.

A missile hit a shopping center in Kremenchuk in Central Ukraine.

18 people were killed and dozens injured.



At least 18 people are dead, around sixty are injured.

The death toll could rise as workers are still clearing the rubble.

The shopping center was packed with more than a 1,000 people, says President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Let’s go.


To karaoke. It’s Friday.

What has that got to do with me?

Tough guys don’t sing.

You are not a tough guy.

I could be.

Somewhere abroad, perhaps. In Denmark?

I enjoy it here.

I like the solitude.

You will change your mind when you reach my age.

I won’t live to be that old.

You’re the only one.

If we leave now, we can catch the last taxi.

♪ Just a sweet Carolina Just a rockin’ little mama

♪ Just to leave my baby in old Alabama

♪ Rockin’ in the evenin’ In the southern round

♪ Mean guitar, that’s a swingin’ old town

♪ Rockin’ and a-rollin’ Just a little while

♪ Ain’t got no rollin’, Ain’t got no holdin’

♪ Get on, get on baby, get on

♪ Get on, get on baby, get on

♪ Well, let me be, rock and roll with me

♪ Well, old Alabama Just a sweet Carolina

♪ Just a-rockin’ and rollin’ Make me a town

♪ Got to be a scoogie Lay down own my boogie

♪ Let me hear you say You got my whole around

♪ Got to be a scoogie, bing bong bang

♪ Ain’t got no rollin’ Ain’t got no holdin’ ♪

♪ Get on, get on baby, get on

♪ Get on, get on baby, get on… ♪

You don’t dare to sing.

I do, but I can’t.

I have no voice.

You talk a lot regardless.

I have a good voice, a bass-baritone.

What would I sing?

Don’t sing anything.

Or perhaps Paranoid.

Preferably something Finnish National Romantic.

♪ Just a-moving your ass Rocking and fast ♪


Listen and appreciate.


Autumn under the Rowan Tree.

What’s your name?

Hannes Huotari.

Next up is Hannes and Autumn under the Rowan Tree.

♪ The berries of rowan trees

♪ Glow crimson as blood

♪ Chevrons of cranes have flown

♪ Away over my head

♪ They didn’t take me along

♪ To far-off lands

♪ Those without wings stay bound

♪ To this gray cold ground

♪ My sister is the night wind

♪ Singing me her songs

♪ As the cold teardrops in the rain

♪ Beat against the windowpane

♪ Many a traveler I can see

♪ Hurrying past me

♪ I too waited for someone

♪ Will she never come ♪

Thank you.

You are a soprano.

A tenor, at least.

You did well, you’ll make a record yet.

I need to be discovered first.

You sang so beautifully.

It was easy, I was just watching you.

Your voice is well-preserved for such an elderly man.

I trust it will gain depth once I turn 50.

That train has already gone. Do you have any ID?

You are suspicious.

Shall I sing you a nursery song?

Next up is Markus with Schubert’s Lied Serenade.

♪ Softly my songs plead

♪ Through the night to you

♪ Down into the silent grove

♪ Beloved, come to me!

♪ Slender treetops whisper and rustle

♪ In the moonlight

♪ In the moonlight

♪ My darling, do not fear

♪ That the hostile betrayer Will overhear us

♪ That the hostile betrayer Will overhear us! ♪

Can I take something?

Go ahead.


I have to ask you to open your bag, Miss Grönholm.


Certain suspicions have been raised, you have been under watch.

You should be grateful we’re not taking this to the police.

That’s past its date, you can’t sell it.

It doesn’t matter. It belongs in the waste bin.

I suppose I do, too.

You are fired, without notice.

We don’t have a notice period.

We’re on a zero-hour contract.

Your wisecracking will only make things worse.

Then I guess you will want this too.

It expired yesterday, but it was still on the shelf.

Someone could have died.

Due to your own negligence.

Not hers, mine.

I have been in the dairy section, I missed it. I’m sorry.

Since you confessed, you are forgiven. You can stay.

I don’t think I want to.

You get the same wages in a soup line.

You’ll go far yet.

I was just following orders.

Stand aside!

You’re late.

Four minutes. Third time this week already.

Today’s Monday.

Very well then.

But step on it, the client is breathing down our neck.

I would, if the compressor wasn’t breaking down every two hours.

We have to get a new one.

And a company car?

That can wait.

No driver’s license.

I’d like to go and work now.

Russia has launched a massive series of missile strikes against Ukraine.

According to a Ukrainian Air Force spokesman, more than eighty missiles were fired into Ukraine.

About half of them were successfully shot down.

Russia also attacked the capital, Kyiv.

The Red Cross International Committee will suspend its activities in Ukraine due to the Russian strikes.

The Norwegian Refugee Council has also paused its aid operations in Ukraine until it is safe to resume work.

During one week, Russia has fired into Ukraine almost 150 missiles…

You have a computer here.


How much does it cost?

Ten euros per half hour.

Rather expensive.

They are expensive and wear out in use.

Ours are the best quality.

I didn’t want to insult.

Is eight euros enough?

I can bring the rest later.

You didn’t mean to insult, but you did anyway.

That’s what’s wrong with you people.

The discount is included in the price, so is the coffee.

Thank you.

One minute has passed already. Money is time.



What do you want?

You needed a kitchen assistant.

Still do, the previous one died. Can you do the dishes?

I can.

You’ll have to do, though you look weak.

What are these?

A hygiene pass and an income-tax card.

I thought…

You won’t get paid for thinking.

Keep them. I’ll pay in cash every Monday.

Take it or leave it.

Can you start right away?

The work has piled up.

Where can I get changed?

There’s a toilet down by the bar.


♪ A maid hurried to Naples town

♪ Its nature calling her to dream

♪ The native dances and its songs

♪ But wait a minute

♪ From everywhere comes

♪ Hey Mambo, hey Mambo italiano!

♪ Hey Mambo, hey Mambo italiano!

♪ This is how sings the Siciliano!

♪ Signor Borsalino does the Mambo latino!

♪ Hey Mambo, no more tarantella!

♪ Hey Mambo, no charms in mozzarella!

♪ Hey Mambo, Mambo italiano!

♪ Getta happy in the feets-a when you

♪ Hopla now!

♪ It’s the dawn of a new dance!

♪ But remember, paisano

♪ It’s time for the Mambo

♪ If you wanna go dancing You gotta do the Mambo!

♪ Hey Mambo, Mambo italiano!

♪ Hey Mambo, Mambo italiano!

♪ Ho ho ho, you’re a real Giovanno!

♪ Getta happy in the feets-a when you

♪ Mambo… ♪

♪ Italiano! ♪


How much?

Come round the back.

Don’t stand there like the wife of Lot, there’s work to be done in the bar.

♪ Hopla now!

♪ It’s the dawn of a new dance

♪ But remember, paisano

♪ It’s time for the Mambo

♪ If you wanna go dancing You gotta do the Mambo!

♪ Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano!

♪ Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano!

♪ Ho ho ho, you’re a real Giovanno!

♪ Getta happy in the feets-a when you

♪ Mambo Italiano! ♪

♪ Bitter neighborhood Woven into my life

♪ Like the sentence or a curse… ♪

What is wrong with you? You make me fall asleep.

I’m depressed.


Because I drink so much.

Why do you drink, then?

Because I’m depressed.

Circular reasoning.

What’s that?

Forget the whole thing.

Don’t drink if you don’t like it.

I do like it.


Forget it.

Let’s talk about soccer.

♪ Everything lights up

♪ When she comes back to see you

♪ And my old honeysuckles… ♪

He’s got nothing.

Is everything alright?

Hello, Ansa! Take a week off! Or two!

With full pay.

I heard they sold drugs there. Hashish, too.

You won’t get me alive!

I guess the bar is closed.


It is. And will be.

I would’ve liked a small beer.

Stop! On the ground!

Would you like a coffee?

Somewhere close by, if you have the time.

I have the time but not the money.

Fucking pigs!

Today was meant to be payday. I worked there.

I’d be happy to buy you one.

Yes, let’s go.

It hasn’t rained in a while.


Not in a while.

If you haven’t been paid you must be hungry?

A little.

Have some pastry.

Cinnamon roll.

Now what?

Would you like to go to the cinema?

That would be nice.

What would you like to see?

You choose.

I guess they’ve been zombies all along.

Nameless miseries of the numberless.

Frank! Hey!

You got this coming.

Goodbye, Frank.

You reap what you sow.

All right, who’s next?

Great film.

Reminded me of Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest.

I was thinking of Godard’s Band of Outsiders.

There was no way the cops could have handled it.

There were simply too many zombies.

Did you like the film?

I did.

I’ve never laughed so much.

So, we’ll meet again?

Would you like to?

Very much so.

I’ll give you my number.

I don’t even know your name.

Can I walk you home?

I will tell you next time.

I live nearby.

Good night.

More than 20 people were killed in a Russian strike on a train station in Central Ukraine, at least 50 are wounded.

Last night Russia launched rocket strikes on the Kyiv suburbs.

Ukraine says that Russia has stepped up its attacks yesterday on Ukraine’s Independence Day.

“My tears will spread across our land,” says Tetyana to the BBC.

A Russian missile strike on the Chaplyne train station in Central Ukraine killed more than 20 people and injured 50.

Sergei’s home was razed to the ground.

He cries over the body of his little son.

There is a massive hole in the yard, and the house is in ruins.

There was no sound, just the explosion…

♪ Don’t you dare to love me?

♪ Why won’t you answer me?

♪ Is your heart unhappy

♪ When it is with me?

♪ Don’t you dare love me?

♪ Why do you hide behind a wall?

♪ Did you forsake this little heart ♪

♪ Having set it aflame? ♪

Holappa has repeatedly said that the hose should be replaced.

We change them every four years, it should have lasted.

Should have, but didn’t. How much did you save?

That’s at least a week’s sick leave, where do I find someone for this?

The job goes to shit.

Let’s do this too.

Do we have to?

Always when an ambulance comes to a scene of an accident.


Let’s have a blood test right away.

Damned drunk, don’t bother coming back!

And empty your bunk by tomorrow night.

You can inherit that.

Stories for the children.

Can you keep this until I find a place to stay?

Sure. I’ll sell anything of value.

What will you do?

You can work on a building site with no education as a handyman, if you accept a pay cut.

What will the Union say?


I belong to the Metalworkers’ Union.

Come to the bar?

Or I may turn mean and pick a fight with the jukebox.

Let’s go.

Listen, Huotari.


Remember the night you sang karaoke?

And sang well.

And sang well.

I’m still waiting for the record company and the tour manager to call.

Maybe they weren’t around.

Such a performance should have the word spreading.

There were the two… women.

Dames, gals, skirts, Sheilas.

I wasn’t good enough.

Too old, I was told.

I met the smaller one later.

We almost got married.

Why didn’t you? Pretty girl, though a quiet one.

I lost her phone number.

Why don’t you ask the directory?

I don’t know her name.

That certainly is a slight problem.

Did the other one say where they worked, or anything?

In some supermarket, I guess. Perhaps.

I don’t really remember what she said after I wasn’t good enough.

Shall we have another one?

They are our sixth.


♪ In the early morning rain

♪ With some coins in my hand

♪ With an aching in my heart

♪ And my pockets full of sand

♪ Hardly knowing where I am

♪ I miss my loved one so

♪ In the early morning rain

♪ With no place to go

♪ I wonder why I ran away

♪ Choosing liquor and drugs

♪ Now I see my mistake

♪ I want you by my side

♪ The rain pours down

♪ A cold feeling paining me ♪

♪ I try to doze off for a while

♪ Lay my head on the grass ♪

♪ I would get up again

♪ But it’s just too hard ♪

You never called.

I lost your number the minute I got it.

I’ve been looking for you everywhere.

I thought you found someone you liked more.

Do I look like a weather wane?

You want to insult.

Look at my shoes, this is the third pair already.

You’re lying.

Will you come to my place for dinner?

I will.


Tomorrow night at 8 o’clock.

Give me the address. I’ll be 5 minutes early.

Why would I? You will lose it anyway.

Don’t get robbed.

Thank you for the flowers.

Have some salad.

This something will be ready soon.

What was this?

Sparkling wine.

Such a small glass.

It’s called an apéritif.

Nice apartment.

The bed is rather narrow, though.

You’re so playful.

It’s enough for one.

I inherited the apartment from my godmother and painted it myself.

So you are an heiress.

The food was very nice.

So was that… apéritif.

Any more of it?

All gone.

We have no digestif either.

What is that?

I’ll put some music on. You can smoke if you want.

Rescue efforts of the theater strike victims in Ukraine’s Mariupol continue.

The exact number of victims is not yet known.

The Mayor of Mariupol has said that up to 1,200 people had taken shelter in the theater.

Damn war.

My father died of drink.

So did my brother.

My mother died of grief.

I like you a lot, but I won’t take a drunk.

And I don’t take orders.

♪ Your love is so cold

♪ Cold like winter and ice

♪ Your heart can never feel

♪ The heat of a warming fire

♪ Only autumn thrives in your heart

♪ As if the flowers of the earth were dead

♪ No glow of loving can give

♪ One who received only cold love ♪


You’ve been drinking on the job.

We won’t have it.

You’re fired.

Eat shit.

You’re quiet tonight. Because of that scoundrel?

First he thinks my apartment is a pub.

Then he doesn’t even call to apologize.

I thought he would’ve been… different.

In what way?

In some way, at least.

They are all cast in the same mold. Sadly, it was broken.

That was well said.

All men are swine!

They’re not.

Swines are intelligent and sympathetic.

You’re right.

Let’s drink to them.

Go home Holappa, so you can be back in the morning.

Where did that come from?

She’s been here looking for food for a couple of weeks now.

What will happen to her?

I guess she’ll be put down.

She can’t stay here, she might get run over by the machines.

Could I take her?

Why not?

I’d take her myself, but I’ve already got six.

Plus the kids and a wife.



And so.

There. Good.

♪ Moldy coffee in the pot, Dirty dishes on the floor

♪ Rain rinses the windows Don’t need to wash them myself

♪ Nothing to stop me from leaving

♪ But I’m like cast in concrete Up to my knees

♪ With an invisible thousand-weight Pressing down on me

♪ Even with just one more hurdle left

♪ I don’t know if I can make it To my grave

♪ I’m a prisoner here forever

♪ Even the graveyard has fences

♪ When my earthly term Is finally done

♪ You’ll just dig me deeper Into the ground

♪ I like you But can’t stand myself

♪ I don’t need others, I don’t know about you

♪ If I ever leave this place

♪ I’ll be only doing it For my own sake… ♪

I didn’t bring you any.

It’s okay, I don’t want it anymore.

♪ Going to the store in the freezing cold

♪ I’ll get a few beers once again

♪ If I need more, I’ll have plenty of time

♪ As I’m just mostly lying around

♪ I won’t leave home without a reason

♪ Just forget me, I want to be alone

♪ I was born in sorrows Dressed in disillusions

♪ I’m a prisoner here forever

♪ Even the graveyard Is by fences bound

♪ When my earthly term Is finally done

♪ You’ll just dig me deeper Into the ground

♪ I like you But I can’t stand myself

♪ I don’t need others I don’t know about you

♪ If I ever leave this place

♪ I’ll be only doing it For my own sake ♪


♪ Leave your Scabby wounds alone

♪ Never tear them open again

♪ Let your bitter memories die

♪ Try to slowly let them fade

♪ The zither of my soul is broken

♪ It has a string severed

♪ Its tune so weak and tender

♪ Forever has been silenced ♪

♪ Leave your scabby wounds alone

♪ Never tear them open again

♪ Let your bitter memories die ♪

You answer it.


It’s me.

Who is “me”?


The drunk you left alone in the street.

Oh, the wino?

The same man.

How are you?

I’m as sober as a desert rat.

I get loyalty discount at the AA club.

What changed your mind?

You did.

Can I come?

Come right away.

Get to work.

We have to clean up.

North and north-easterly winds at 27 mph.

A warning to boaters: Gulf of Bothnia and Bothnian Sea, north and north-easterly winds at 27 mph.

Come in.

Will you lend me your coat?

I have an important meeting and I’m not presentable.

A woman?

She must be desperate.

Just take it.

I don’t need it anymore.

Oh, hello.


You still remember.

You sang so beautifully.

Honest talk is so seldom heard, it makes me happy.

My friend was looking for you.

I haven’t heard of him.

I would think not. He was hit by a train.

What happened? Did he die?

Not quite, but they are still keeping him in a coma.

Which hospital?

The Deaconess Institute.

What’s his name?


I don’t know his first name. Don’t go yet.

Coma patients can wait for five minutes or more.

Your friend misunderstood my age.

I’d like to correct that.

I’ll give you Liisa’s number.


You have a patient here called Holappa.

First name?

I don’t know that.

Are you a relative?

I am his sister.

In faith.

Very well.

Tonja will take you. Room 13.

Here it is.

He’s still in a coma, but try to talk or read to him.

Sometimes it helps.

“Licentiate ate his girlfriend.

“He was caught when the chopped-up body was found… in his freezer.”

Finland has sensationally made it to the World Cup finals.

The opposing team will be Brazil, but betting agencies have Finland as the clear winner.

“Danger.” Six letters.


“O positive.”

Ten letters.

Blood group.


So he is waking up.

I’m glad.

Tell him I’ll be right over,

I’ll just get the dog.

Thank you, Tonja.

Am I dead?

On the contrary.

I’ve been waiting for you.

In my dream we walked towards the Marriage Office together.

You’re still confused.

What time will he get out? Will you take a taxi?

He can already walk on his own.

Maybe even think.

That remains to be seen, but it doesn’t take two.

Did the Karaoke King call you?

Yes. I’ll see him tomorrow.

He’s had rejuvenation surgery and is eating Ginseng root.

It is time.

Go, you’re making me nervous.


These are my ex-husband’s.

I don’t know if they fit.

Thank you.

I’ll return them as soon as I can go shopping.

That’s all right, he won’t be back either.

I hope. I changed the lock.

Thanks for the clothes.


Does the dog have a name?



♪ When autumn falls, The leaves in the park

♪ With bright splendor glow… ♪



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