Calamari Union

Synopsis: Fourteen desperate men named Frank, band together to escape from a repressive section of Helsinki. An English-speaking non-Frank named Pekka joins the barroom conspirators, whose avoidance of last names, and any affect, help them outsmart overwhelming forces as they sneak through dark subway tunnels and alleys, hoping against despair to reach magical seaside Eira. The Calamari Unionists take advantage of unending night to venture their intrepid journey.
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Aki Kaurismäki
Production: Villealfa Filmproduction Oy
80 min

Dedicated to those

ghosts of Baudelaire

Michaux and Prevert who

still hover on this Earth...


I don't want to tire

you or myself-

by going through

the many reasons -

why life is impossible

in this part of the city.

We all know the circumstances

forced on us in our early years:

Crowded homes,

ignorance and hunger.

Not to mention stuffy buses -

with irregular timetables.

There are more hills here -

than anywhere else

in the world!

Loose-running kids and dogs -

make it impossible

to move in the streets.

Like lepers we hide

in the back alleys.

We are humiliated

and spat on -

as if we weren't free members

of a proud nation.

Besides, an evil old woman

kicked me in shin once -

only because I opened my

mouth in the wrong place.

I'm not a dog.

I know that you can also -

respect yourselves slightly,

if necessary.

That is why we are here today:

No more crying -

it's time to leave.

The decision is not easy.

Many of us have strong

emotional ties here.

Many must sacrifice

their childhood -

their memories

and their families.

"The branch of a rotten tree must

seek a healthier trunk. "

We have all heard our

grandparents and our parents -

talk of Eira, a place on

the other side of the city.

The streets are wide and the air

is smooth and fresh there.

That is our destination tonight.

Before we move on to

practical matters -

I want to be certain that

everyone realises -

the dangers and

responsibilities of our journey.

The floor is yours, Frank.

- Thank you, Frank.

I have organised us transport

to the extreme centre of the city.

After that it's every

man for himself.

Some will take the southern,

others the northern route -

some will attempt a break

straight through the lines.

As we are all poor

we shall now share -

the funds our society

has inherited.

The body and blood of Christ...

The body and blood of Christ...

That's it. We'll leave at six.

Frank here.

Hi. Listen, we...

Yes, I did the shopping.

Alright, I'll come right away.

Oh f***!

This sure is different

than back home.

Isn't it, Frank?

Good day.

- Good evening.

A single room. - Welcome.

Your name, please?

Frank Merciless.

Haven't you seen enough already?

I'll check out a couple more.

Let's go or we'll get nowhere.

You can go anywhere

you want.

I don't even count.

I called Sirpa this morning.

We'll eat at five.

I'm not hungry.

I've got a full stomach.


I think I'll split. I'm free!


Good morning, Frank!


How about a cup of coffee

before we go on? - All right.

You got any money,

Frank? - No.


- I need some breakfast.


Four years ago, miss...

Hello, Frank. - Hi!

Still here?

The others will have the best bits.

The night is dangerous.

You can stumble into people

and things laying in the street -

and break your leg.

All cats are grey.

The streets lead wherever,

many have lost their way.

Dangers abound,

there is hunger and thirst.

Frank and I decided to

wait for daybreak.

If you don't do something

at once you'll never do it.

Turn yourways now or

you'll be eternally damned.

If you want to reach your goal,

you must heal yourself-

of sickness, poverty,

misery and gloom.

Taste for work is

all that's needed.

Fulfil the daily demands of

wisdom and responsibilities.

What's the time?

Good morning, Frank!

Sleep well?

Why, thanks, Frank.

Daily work would make

life more tolerable.

Work for six days

in a row!

You start, you use your talents

for deducting and analysing.

You must find the fury

for daily action!

What do you say, Frank?

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Aki Kaurismäki

Aki Olavi Kaurismäki (Finnish: [ˈɑki ˈkɑurismæki] ( listen); born 4 April 1957) is a Finnish screenwriter and film director. He is described as Finland’s best-known film director. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Calamari Union" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Sep. 2021. <>.

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