Kati Outinen

Kati Outinen is nothing short of a legend. Aki Kaurismäki’s actress of choice, she portrayed dozens of unbreakable women in his films. Her performances in the ‘80s and ‘90s masterpieces Match Factory Girl, Drifting Clouds and The Man Without a Past are perhaps the most familiar to the broader public, but nowhere near exhaustive when it comes to her acting career.

The embodiment of the Finnish woman, on screen she comes out as hard-working, quiet, even reserved, but full of sisu—the particular Finnish type of perseverance, stoic determination in the face of difficulties. When met in person, she feels much more approachable, kinder and softer—a “soft feminist” is what she calls herself, after all—but the strength is undeniably there. At 57 years of age, still as active as an actress as ever, she poses vital questions about the movie industry today: where is the female cinematographic gaze? Why are women not making the decisions? And, most importantly, is there any space a female performance artist at 60? For me, there’s no doubt about that—for Kati, there will always be space.

Read the full interview by Tuomas Merikoski in the second issue of the ARKISTO fanzine.

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Shot by Johan Sandberg in Helsinki, Finland