A Man’s Job (miehen Työ)

Directed by Aleksi Salmenperä
  • Finland
  • 100 minutes
  • 2007

Father of three, Juha is a caring husband to his depressed wife. Every morning before leaving the house he counts her pills to make sure she has taken the correct dose. He’s trying to keep his family together, although unbeknown to them he’s been laid off, and money is getting tight. Juha doesn’t have many career options, and whilst trying his hand as an odd job man, a female client suggests he come to her bedroom, undress and help her relax… Juha is rewarded handsomely for his services.

When he confides in his friend Olli, rather than being shocked Olli offers to find and manage clients for Juha. Although at times explicit and containing some delicate material, including scenes featuring a client with Down’s Syndrome, A Man’s Job is far from exploitative.

Writer-director Aleksi Salmenperä treats his characters with dignity and compassion, finding exactly the right tone for each intimate scene. Juha’s clients have many needs beyond the purely physical, and in understanding these Juha makes surprising personal discoveries on how he could be a better husband and father himself.

Sarah Lutton, London Film Festival Programme

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