The Other Side Of Hope



Kati Outinen, Ville Virtanen, Tommi Korpela, Matti Onnismaa, Simon Hussein, Sherwan Haji & Jörn Donner

Director: Aki Kaurismäki

Running Time: 100 minutes

Certificate: 12A - contains moderate violence and racist behaviour

Country: Finland (subtitled)

Format: 2D

"Combining poignancy with torrents of laughter, The Other Side of Hope is a gorgeous and soon, surely, to be prize-winning comedy. You could never have heard of Aki Kaurismäki and come away from this film knowing exactly what the fuss has always been about"
- Tim Robey, The Telegraph

"There are plenty of headlines about refugees but little looking at what happens when they make it to Europe; here Kaurismaki seeks to change that. A very believable work, it offers humour and violence, while the closing scene stirs up a range of emotions few directors can manage"
- Jonathan Dean, Sunday Times Culture

"Kaurismäki’s wry comedy is a timely critique of an intolerant Europe, and a winking cheer to those who offer a handshake of solidarity to their new neighbours. The film resists platitudes about immigration, aiming for something closer to tragicomic realism"
- Simran Hans, The Observer

"Lovable and heartbreaking in the Kaurismäki style; there are amateurish music interludes, sets are noirish shadows, fauvist colouring and plonky props. But it works, it charms, it often entrances; even when some of the subject matter - here the world refugee crisis - tests the envelope"
- Nigel Andrews, Financial Times

"Kaurismäki tells his stories with a simplicity and directness reminiscent of old Charlie Chaplin movies. His films are effortlessly funny, even when they’re dealing with the darkest subject matter. This is a redemptive story in which we see more of the best of human nature than of the worst"
- Geoffrey MacNab, The Independent

"Kaurismäki employs his usual sensitivity to highlight the refugee experience. The Other Side of Hope is like witnessing the ongoing cultivation of a humane philosophy; devilishly funny and economically constructed"
- Ryan Gilbey, The Guardian

"A two-finger salute to cold-hearted bureaucracy and his homeland’s apathy in the face of the humanitarian crisis, done in true Kaurismäki style: engaged with the modern world, empathetic, with bone-dry wit, a gentle streak of melancholy, fixed cameras and a smattering of silly sight gags"
- Phil De Semlyen, Empire

Finland’s master of deadpan comedy, Aki Kaurismäki (Lights in the Dusk, Le Havre), returns with The Other Side of Hope, the story of an unlikely friendship between a Syrian asylum seeker and an elderly Finnish restaurant owner. Worthy winner of the 2017 Berlin Silver Bear for Best Director, it’s a beautiful, timely film from one of the world’s leading auteurs.

Khaled (Sherwan Haji) arrives at the port of Helsinki concealed in a coal container, fleeing war-torn Syria to seek asylum in Finland. Dazed and frustrated by the monolithic administration he encounters at the detention centre, he makes a break for it and heads out onto the streets. There he meets Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen), a former shirt salesman who has recently left his alcoholic wife for a new life as a bachelor restaurateur. Together, they help each other to navigate the adversities they face in these unfamiliar and often baffling new worlds.

With hilarious sight gags, poker-faced one liners and a toe-tapping rockabilly soundtrack, Kaurismäki’s latest balances his unparalleled wit with a pressing critique of the unforgiving bureaucracy that greets vulnerable asylum seekers in modern-day Europe. Humane and sincere, it’s proof of cinema’s power to tell stories that matter, with beauty and heart.


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