This film is part of Rentals

Compartment No. 6 15 rating

Juho Kuosmanen’s grungy train journey to Siberia, in a Finnish student’s shared sleeper carriage with a volatile Russian labourer, won the 2021 Cannes Grand Prix.

Drama 2021 107 mins

Director: Juho Kuosmanen


Few people would head to icy Murmansk in winter, but Finnish trainee archaeologist Laura (Seidi Haarla) is determined to see the town’s rare petroglyphs, and perhaps escape a failing teacher-student romance. Cooped up in a dingy second-class compartment with hard-drinking Russian skinhead Ljoha (Yuriy Borisov), Laura finds little relief or escape. A Before Sunrise meet-cute this isn’t, though sometimes connections and destinations take on new meanings.

This Cannes Grand Prix winner is something of a departure from Kuosmanen’s previous film, the gentle, monochrome The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki. But beneath the expertly rendered icy, post-Soviet ambience, there’s unexpected warmth and intimacy – an unsentimental generosity that makes the excellent Haarla and Borisov odd yet ideal travel companions.