This wry, melancholic comedy from Aki Kaurismäki, a clear-eyed response to the current refugee crisis, follows two people searching for a place to call home. Displaced Syrian Khaled (Sherwan Haji) lands in Helsinki as a stowaway; meanwhile, middle-aged salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves behind his wife and job and buys a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant. After Khaled is denied asylum, he decides not to return to Aleppo—and the paths of the two men cross fortuitously.
As deadpan as the best of the director’s work, and with a deep well of empathy for its down-but-not-out characters (many of them played by members of Kaurismäki’s ever-reliable stock company), The Other Side of Hope is a bittersweet tale of human kindness in the face of official indifference.
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki (Finland, 2016).
“[The Other Side of Hope] is at once honest and artful, a touching and clearsighted declaration of faith in people and in movies.” —A.O. Scott, The New York Times
About the Director
Aki Kaurismäki (b. 1957, Orimattila, Finland), began as an actor early in his career, appearing in his brother Mika’s films (Arvottomat, 1982), among others. His directorial debut was for an adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1983), and he later came to world recognition with the now cult road movie Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989). In 1992 Karlovy Vary organized a retrospective of Kaurismäki’s movies; the festival has continued to follow the career of the self-taught Finn with an eccentric but magical sense of humor, presenting later works such as Total Balalaika Show (1994, documentary), Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatiana (1994), Drifting Clouds (1996), Juha (1999), The Man Without a Past (2002, Oscar nominee), Lights in the Dusk (2006), and Le Havre (2012).
About the Series
See some top picks of recent Scandinavian award-winning cinema in “Hits From the North: Recent Award-Winning Nordic Films.” Each film will be screened twice—Wednesday at 7 PM and Friday at 6:30 PM. Tickets for individual films are $12 ($7 ASF Members) or you can purchase a Series Pass for all five films for $45 ($30 ASF Members).
Films in the series include:
The King’s Choice /Kongens nei—WED—FEB 7 & FRI—FEB 9
Land of mine /Under sandet—WED—FEB 14 & FRI—FEB 16
The Nile Hilton Incident—WED—FEB 21 & FRI–FEB 23
Heartstone /Hjartasteinn—WED—FEB 28 & FRI—MAR 2
The Other Side of Hope /Toivan tuolla puolen—WED—MAR 7 & FRI—MAR 9
FRI—MARCH 9—6:30 PM
$12 ($7 ASF Members)
Series pass $45 ($30 ASF Members)
98 min. In Finnish with English subtitles.