The Other Side of Hope

The Other Side of Hope

(Toivon tuolla puolen)

The melancholic tale of the friendship between a Syrian refugee and a restaurant-owner. Winner of the Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Director.... More

"Khaled (Sherwan Haji), a young Syrian refugee, arrives in Helsinki as a stowaway and applies for asylum. Meanwhile, travelling salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) decides to change his life, and invests in an unprofitable restaurant. When the authorities deny Khaled's application for asylum, he decides to stay on illegally, and it is then that he meets Wikström outside the restaurant. After a minor disagreement, Khaled is hired to work in the restaurant and finally finds some refuge, but it's far from permanent. [Director] Kaurismäki says that the film is an attempt to shatter the "way of only seeing refugees as either pitiful victims or arrogant economic immigrants invading our societies." With his unique sense of humour and fundamentally optimistic vision of the world, he achieves a great deal more than that." (Sydney Film Festival)Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • This is a world that reeks of cigarette smoke and cheap vodka, yet as always in the work of Finland's maestro of droll melancholy, the perfume that lingers longest is empathy. Full Review

  • As economical in his visual style as he is with his dialogue, Kaurismaki makes the most out of having his actors do the least. Full Review

  • Watching these players try to out-deadpan each other, almost to out-Kaurismäki each other, as preposterous flukes wipe them out is every bit as addictive as being on a winning streak. Full Review

  • "The Other Side of Hope" wants to take you back to a time when quirkiness in cinema felt not cute but bold. Apart from the songs, though, it just feels cute now. If that. Full Review

  • Kaurismaki unashamedly believes in brotherhood, and among other things his film celebrates people who do the right thing without making a big deal about it. Full Review

  • It's at once honest and artful, a touching and clearsighted declaration of faith in people and in movies. Full Review

  • Maverick as ever but fully engaged with the modern world, Kaurismäki dials back his trademark absurdism with a wry allegory of human struggle, empathy and connection. Full Review

  • He brings a strong intelligence to the writing, a weary sense of the world’s harshness. His feeling for comedy is light and always unpredictable, but he is driven by compassion. Full Review

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