A Finnish film, "The Man without a Past," has won the Templeton European Film of the Year award, it was announced January 13 by the Conference of European Churches in Geneva. The award is presented by the Templeton Foundation, the inter-church film organization Interfilm, and the CEC for artistic merit and a point of view in keeping with the message of the Scriptures.
In the film urban violence opens the way to tell the story of a survivor, the man without a past. The film also won the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival 2002.
Judges look for films that stimulate debate about spiritual and social issues. They said that the film written, directed and produced by Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki was a parable told with tenderness and moments of humor. It is the story of a community inspired by a man almost totally deprived of his memory after being mugged. The film features Finnish actor Markku Peltola as the victim and Kati Outinen as a Salvation Army worker who encourages the victim to find himself again.
The prize will be awarded during this year's Berlin Film Festival on February 9.
By Albert H. Lee