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The Other Side of Hope Image

The Other Side of Hope

Toivon tuolla puolen

Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema

The Finnish master of the droll and the deadpan, Aki Kaurismäki, returns with a second feature (after Le Havre) that takes the European refugee crisis as its ostensible subject, this one set in his sombre homeland. Syrian Khaled (Sherwan Haji), having washed up on Finland’s disconsolate shores in a coal container, is anxious about securing refugee status and remaining in the country when he crosses paths with middle-aged travelling shirt salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen, essaying the classic Kaurasmäki anti-hero type with aplomb), a glum guy who is about to leave his wife and change his life courtesy of some cash won in a card game. An unlikely friendship begins, and soon Khaled is working for Wikström at the latter’s new pipedream—a hilariously run-down and badly operated restaurant…

"[Kaurasmäki’s] films are gems of poker-faced comic absurdism, full of expressionless faces and gloomy rooms. That’s still the case with The Other Side of Hope, but… the beauty of [his latest work] is that Kaurismäki also manages to be touching and compassionate along the way… Wry humour sits alongside a persuasive vision of what it might mean to be a Syrian refugee in Finland, complete with fascist bullying and threats of violence. It’s a deeply humane film, as well as a quietly hilarious one."—Dave Calhoun, Time Out

Best Director, Berlin 17; FIPRESCI Grand Prix 17

Director Aki Kaurismäki
Country of Origin: Finland
Year: 2017
Running Time: 98 mins
Format: DCP
Language:In Finnish with English subtitles
Cast: Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen, Janne Hyytiäinen, Ilkka Koivula, Nuppu Koivu, Simon Hussein Al-Bazoon
Producer: Aki Kaurismaki, Misha Jaari, Mark Lwoff, Reinhard Brundig
Cinematographer: Timo Salminen
Editor: Samu Heikkilä
Production Design: Aki Kaurismaki
Production Company: Sputnik / Bufo / Pandora Film
Print Source: Films We Like

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