Amazon (1990 film)

Last updated
Directed by Mika Kaurismäki
Written by
  • Richard Reitinger
  • Mika Kaurismäki
  • John Reaves (additional writing)
Music by Naná Vasconcelos
Cinematography Timo Salminen
Edited byMichael Chandler
  • Villealfa Filmproduction Oy
  • Skylight Cinema Foto Art
  • Capital Cinema Productions
  • Noema
  • Rainforest Action Network
Distributed by
  • Finnkino (Finland)
  • Cabriolet Films (USA, theatrical)
  • La Société des Films Sirius (France)
  • Live Home Video (USA, home video)
  • Mainostelevisio (Finland, TV)
  • Avid Home Video (USA, home video)
  • Yleisradio (Finland, (TV)
  • Future Film (Finland, home video)
  • Penta Visión (Uruguay)
  • VMP (Germany)
Release date
  • September 1990 (1990-09)(TIFF)
Running time
96 minutes
  • United States
  • Finland
  • Brazil
  • France
  • Germany
  • English
  • Portuguese
  • Finnish

Amazon is a 1990 drama that was directed by the Finnish film director Mika Kaurismäki, who co-wrote the script with Richard Reitinger and John Reaves, the latter of whom contributed additional writing. The movie premiered at the Toronto Festival of Festivals in September 1990.


While shooting the movie Kaurismäki tried to minimize the movie and crew's impact on the environment, which he tried to minimize by choosing equipment that would have the least impact on the shooting location, the surrounding areas, and its inhabitants. [1]


The film centers upon a Finnish businessman named Kari and his two daughters. The trio has gone to Brazil, where he decides to investigate the possibility of starting a gold mining operation in the nearby rainforest, urged on Dan, an American expatriate interested in entering a business arrangement with Kari. He's warned against this by a local woman, Paola, who tells him that mining would have disastrous repercussions on the jungle and its inhabitants. The two begin to fall in love and Kari starts to doubt his plans. However, before he can truly act on these concerns with his prospective business partner, Kari and Dan are involved in an airplane accident that kills Dan and leave Kari terribly wounded. He's nursed back to health by a rainforest tribe, after which point he returns to his daughters and Paola.



Critical reception has been mixed. [2] In his review in The New York Times film critic Vincent Canby wrote that Amazon "is not the most exciting movie ever made, but it doesn't push. It is laid back. The flora and fauna are interesting and the cast is attractive." [3] Variety was mixed, stating "Visually film is always stimulating but storytelling is wildly uneven, and director Mika Kaurismaki has an uncertain command of pic's tone. Acting is okay." [4]

Pietari Kääpä commented upon the movie in his 2012 book Directory of World Cinema: Finland, calling it an "environmentally aware film" while also stating "In Amazon, we are made privy to a clear environmentalist argument about the need to preserve the Amazonian rainforest. But, simultaneously, it maintains many of these problematic binaries, such as humanity's exploitative relationship with nature." [5]


Related Research Articles

Matti Pellonpää

Matti Pellonpää was a Finnish actor and a musician. He rose to international fame with his roles in both Aki Kaurismäki's and Mika Kaurismäki's films; particularly being a regular in Aki's films, appearing in 18 of them.

Aki Kaurismäki Finnish film director

Aki Olavi Kaurismäki is a Finnish screenwriter and film director. He is best known for the award-winning Drifting Clouds (1996), The Man Without a Past (2002), Le Havre (2011) and The Other Side of Hope (2017), as well as for the mockumentary Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989). He is described as Finland's best-known film director.

Mika Kaurismäki Finnish film director

Mika Juhani Kaurismäki is a Finnish film director.

<i>Aaltoska orkaniseeraa</i>

Aaltoska orkaniseeraa is a 1949 Finnish comedy film directed by Edvin Laine. The film was released on 15 July, 1949.

<i>Calamari Union</i>

Calamari Union is a 1985 Finnish surreal comedy film, the second full-length film by the director Aki Kaurismäki. The film's cast includes well-known Finnish actors and rock musicians.

Samu Heikkilä is a Finnish film editor.

<i>Drifting Clouds</i> (film)

Drifting Clouds is a 1996 Finnish comedy drama film edited, written, produced, and directed by Aki Kaurismäki and starring Kati Outinen, Kari Väänänen and Markku Peltola. The film is the first in Kaurismäki's Finland trilogy, the other two films being The Man Without a Past and Lights in the Dusk. The film was selected as the Finnish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 69th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.

<i>Hamlet Goes Business</i> 1987 film

Hamlet Goes Business is a 1987 Finnish comedy film directed by Aki Kaurismäki and starring Pirkka-Pekka Petelius. It is based on William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, but the events are housed in a modern Finnish wood processing family business.

<i>La Vie de bohème</i> (1992 film)

La Vie de bohème is a 1992 film directed by Aki Kaurismäki and starring Matti Pellonpää, Évelyne Didi and André Wilms. Kaurismäki's screenplay for the film was loosely based on Henri Murger's influential 1851 novel Scènes de la vie de bohème which has spawned several on-screen adaptations as well as plays and operas, the most notable one being Giacomo Puccini's 1896 La bohème.

Pekka Lehto is a Finnish film director. He has directed fifteen films since 1976. He co-directed Flame Top with Pirjo Honkasalo and the film was entered into the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. He also won the Jussi Award for Best Director for the film.

<i>Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale</i>

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is a 2010 Finnish fantasy film written and directed by Jalmari Helander about people living near Korvatunturi who discover the secret behind Santa Claus. The film is based on the 2003 short film Rare Exports Inc. and its 2005 sequel Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions by Jalmari Helander and Juuso Helander, both of which involve a company that traps wild Santa Clauses and trains and exports them to locations around the world.

The Worthless is a 1982 Finnish film directed by Mika Kaurismäki, who also co-wrote the film with his brother Aki Kaurismäki. It is a road movie about two men and a woman driving around the country as they are being chased by a group of criminals and the police.

Elsa Rantalainen Finnish actress

Elsa Emilia Rantalainen (1901–1988) was a Finnish actress. She was most active as an actress between 1933 and 1951. From 1931 until 1941 she was married to Wäinö Aaltonen. In 1954, she was awarded the Pro Finlandia award. She was a member of and performer at the Raittiusyhdistys Koitto.

Filmihullu is a Finnish language film magazine published in Helsinki, Finland. It is the oldest magazine about films in the country.

Juha is a 1937 Finnish drama film directed by Nyrki Tapiovaara, starring Hannes Närhi, Irma Seikkula, and Walle Saikko. It is set in the 18th century and tells the story of a farmer who has married an orphan girl he raised and how a tradesman tries to get her to run away with him to Karelia. The film is based on Juhani Aho's 1911 novel of the same title.

Uuno Laakso Finnish actor

Uuno Laakso (1896–1956) was a Finnish film actor. He was married to the actress Rakel Laakso.

Tauno Majuri (1907–1980) was a Finnish stage and film actor. He was married to the actress Kaisu Leppänen.

Mika Lintilä Finnish politician

Mika Tapani Lintilä is a Finnish politician currently serving as Minister of Economic Affairs since 2019. A member of the Centre Party, he has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1999. Lintilä has formerly served as Minister of Economic Affairs in the Sipilä Cabinet from 2016 to 2019 and as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Finland in the Rinne Cabinet in 2019.

The Song of the Blood-Red Flower is a 1971 Finnish romance and drama film, and the fifth adaptation of Johannes Linnankoski's 1905 novel of the same name. Film tells the story of a glib log driver Olof Koskela, who keeps sowing his wild oats, and when the time comes for him to settle down he finds it difficult to trust anyone in view of his fickle past. Film is directed by Mikko Niskanen and it stars Pertti Melasniemi, Marjukka Arasola, Aune Hurme-Virtanen, Anna-Maija Kokkinen, and Marjatta Pasanen as Kyllikki Moisio. The film is the only color film ever made on the basis of the novel.

<i>The Last Border</i> 1993 Finnish film

The Last Border is a 1993 Finnish post-apocalyptic film directed, written, and produced by Mika Kaurismäki, starring Jolyon Baker, Jürgen Prochnow, Fanny Bastien and Kari Väänänen. The film takes place in the near future for 2009, when pollution from the entire planet has forced people to move to the Arctic Circle, being the only viable territories.


  1. Kääpä, Pietari (2011-01-01). The Cinema of Mika Kaurismäki: Transvergent Cinescapes, Emergent Identities. Intellect Books. pp. 159–160. ISBN   978-1-84150-409-4.
  2. "Amazon (review)". TV Guide. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  3. Canby, Vincent (February 28, 1992). "Finns' Plea for Amazon". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  4. "Review: 'Amazon'". Variety. 1992-01-01. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  5. Kääpä, Pietari (2012-01-01). Directory of World Cinema: Finland. Intellect Books. p. 238. ISBN   978-1-84150-617-3.
  6. "Awards (1990–1999)". Jussi Awards. Retrieved 26 July 2016.