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Interview with THE BLIND MAN WHO DID NOT WANT TO SEE TITANIC producer Jani Pösö

March 9, 2022

(left to right) producer Jani Pösö, actor Petri Pieksämäki, and writer/director Teemu Nikki, pictured at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival, last September


Lately, I’ve found myself drawn to films with super long titles. No hypens or colons, just a verbose calling card that pulls me in and what I’ve found is they often have a unique premise that feels like nothing else out there. Immediately,  “The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot”  from 2018 comes to mind and then two films from last year that made my Top Ten Films of 2022 list, “Preparations to Be Together for an Unknown Length of Time” and “Looking for a Lady with Fangs and a Mustache“, all of which have a curious allure just in their title. It only took three months into the year to come across the first long-titled film to catch my attention…how could I not be intrigued by “The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic”?

It quickly became one of those films that I just had to see without even knowing what I was getting into and then it became one of my favorite films of the year after watching it. Yeah, I know it’s early, but all the more reason to make such a claim, since I definitely want to keep this in the forefront of my mind come the end of the year.



“The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic” follows Jaako (Petri Pieksämäki), a blind and disabled man who is restricted to a wheelchair due. A film enthusiast, Jaako used to be able to watch movies until his multiple sclerosis condition caused his blindness. In his small apartment in Helsinki, he is surrounded by his extensive DVD and blu-ray collection and has memorized his favorite films helmed by the likes of John Carpenter and James Cameron. He uses a self-deprecating sense of humor and a whip-smart movie knowledge to combat the lonely repetition and awkward phone calls from his father that he endures.

While he has a caretaker that visits each day (who he calls “Annie Wilkes”), his sole human connection wind up being the daily calls to his friend, Sirpa (Marjana Maijaala), whom he enjoys a deep connection with. Their conversations go from the trivial question of which “Friends” character each would be to open and vulnerable discussions about their conditions – she is stricken with cancer. They look after each other, keeping each other amused despite their daily struggles and the three hours that separates them.

When Jaako learns that Sirba’s cancer has taken a turn for the worse, requiring her to start chemotherapy, the loyal friend sets out to visit her. His solo trip will require Jaako to plan in advance by figuring out what service can come and pick him up and guide him onto the train and call in advance to see if there is a wheelchair assessable train car for him to board. Beyond the thorough planning, he admits to Sirba that all he’ll have to do is rely on the kindness of five strangers (due to the different geographic locations where he’ll require assistance). Jaako’s stubborn resilience will be challenged when he is faced with an unexpected threat to his life while aboard the train, requiring him to be brave and remain calm despite fearing for his life.



Initially, “The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic” feels like it’s going to be an immersive look at how this one man experiences life, almost as if we’re watching a documentary. Then the engaging and charming personality of Jaako becomes apparent in no time, which counter the daunting limitations of his condition. Once it becomes an atypical thriller, viewers will be on the edge of their seat, truly uncertain where the story could go.

Writer/director Teemu Nikki has given is longtime friend Petri Pieksämäki the role of his life about his life. The two met each other while serving in the Finnish national service in the 90s and then lost track of each other. Nikki went on to become a prolific film director, while Pieksämäki began work as an actor in various theatre companies in Helskinki. By the time they reconnected, Pieksämäki had been stricken with MS, which took his sight and his ability to stand and walk. Regardless, Nikki suggested they work on a film together and wound up casting Pieksämäki as the lead in this empathetic thriller.

The film was produced by Helsinki-based production company, It’s Alive Films, which was co-founded by Nikki and writer/producer Jani Pösö. Both of these talented men have collaborated on numerous projects together, with Pösö involved in the production of 18 short films, 5 feature films, and 3 TV series. They describe their work as entertaining takes on deadly serious subjects, and no doubt that is the case with “The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic”, which Pösö was involved in creating as one of the producers.

In anticipation of the film’s North American premiere at SXSW in Austin, Texas, I caught up with Jani Pösö – discussing his background, his production company, and his involvement in the making of this engrossing, humorous, and unnerving film.

Below you can find our conversation…



DirectorTeemu Nikki and producer Jani Pösö will be attending SXSW in person and ticket information can be found here

SXSW Screening Dates & Times
Saturday, March 12 (5p) // Alamo Lamar
Tuesday, March 15 (6:15p; 6:45p) // Violet Crown Cinema
Friday, March 18 (11:30a) // Alamo Lamar
Online Viewing Window: March 13-15




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