German title: Master Cheng in Pohjanjoki Russian title: Мастер Чэн Original title: Mestari Cheng
Alternative titles: Meister Cheng
Tragicomedy – Finland, China, United Kingdom Production year: 2019 Movie length: 114 minutes
Director: Mika Kaurismäki Writer: Hannu Oravisto Cinematograph: Jari Mutikainen Music: Anssi Tikanmäki
Following the death of his wife, professional chef Cheng travels with his young son Nunjo to a remote village in Finland to connect with an old Finnish friend he once met in Shanghai. Upon arrival, nobody in the village seems to know his friend but local café owner Sirkka offers him accommodation and in return Cheng helps her in the kitchen surprising the locals with the delights of Chinese cuisine. Gradually his cooking encourages these vastly different cultures to connect and Cheng is soon a celebrated member of the community. Unfortunately his tourist visa is soon to run out and it’s up to the villagers to come up with a plan to help him stay.
Pohjanjoki is a hamlet in the nowhere of northern Finland. Sirkka runs a restaurant there, which is hurting for business. One day, a Chinese father, Master Cheng, and his young son Nunjo come to the restaurant. Although Master Cheng doesn’t find the man he’s come to visit, Sirkka finds in him a cook who will pamper the Chinese tourists and indulge the regulars too. And his dishes even seem to have healing properties for the ailing men in the village, so they’re only too happy to welcome him into their community. But then the immigration authorities get wind of Master Cheng ...