The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen)
Cert: 12A Year: 2017 Length: 100 mins Language: Finnish/Arabic/Swedish
Cinema Handout (PDF 93KB)
Score: 79.26% Attendance: 104
This is not (quite) your average Aki Kaurismäki film: "If you know the Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, you'll know he makes the driest of dry black comedies that rarely put a step further than a Helsinki bar – with a quiffed rockabilly band and pack of cigarettes never far away. His 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 this time the veteran filmmaker's mind is on the European refugee crisis. In his own idiosyncratic way Kaurismäki addresses this hot topic by asking: why would anyone want to come to horrible old Finland anyway?" - Dave Calhoun, Time Out.
"...with 'The Other Side Of Hope' he delivers what is easily his most political movie yet, a two-finger salute to cold-hearted bureaucracy and his homeland's apathy in the face of the humanitarian crisis. In true Kaurismäki style, of course, it's done with bone-dry wit, a gentle streak of melancholy, fixed cameras and a smattering of silly sight gags" - Phil de Semlyen, Empire.
Two stories collide here: when salesman Waldemar Wikström wins big at cards, he decides to open a restaurant, where homeless and jobless Syrian refugee Khaled decides to sleep. Accepting the job he is offered by Wikström, Khaled begins to have hope...but is his hope misplaced? Will Finland accept him?
As de Semlyen goes on to say about Kaurismäki, "His wit and humanism carve out a special if rarely heralded niche for his films. This one will linger longer than most".
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