The film takes its title from the number on the cramped quarters of a second-class sleeping car on a train from Moscow to the Arctic port city of Murmansk. As the train weaves its way up to the Arctic Circle, two strangers, Laura (Seidi Haarla) a student from Finland studying Russian in Moscow, and Ljoha (Yuriy Borisov), an uncouth Russian miner, find themselves stuck with each other on a journey that will change their perspective on life.
Compartment No. 6 premiered in competition in Cannes where it won the Grand Prix. A critical hit, it has toured the international festivals, stopping off in Karlovy Vary, Toronto, London and Busan among others. The film is Kuosmanen’s follow-up to his debut, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, which was Finland’s Oscar contender in 2016, though it was not nominated. Finland has only once been nominated for an Oscar in the best international feature category: for Aki Kaurismäki’s The Man Without a Past in 2002. The country has yet to win.
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