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THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE

THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE

Aki Kaurismäki · Finland · 2017 · 100 mins · PG · Finish/Arabic with subtitles
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WINNER: BEST DIRECTOR!

--Berlin International Film Festival

If you know the Finnish indie filmmaking legend Aki Kaurismäki, you’ll know he makes the driest of dry black comedies, gems of comic absurdism. This time the filmmaker’s mind is on the European refugee crisis, asking: why would anyone want to come to horrible old Finland anyway? The beauty is that Kaurismäki also manages to be touching and compassionate along the way. He parallels the story of Khaled (Sherwan Haji), a Syrian seeking leave to remain in Finland, with that of middle-aged Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen), who decides to leave his alcoholic wife and buy a failing restaurant after winning a pile of cash. Wikström ends up employing Khaled in his restaurant. The film’s comic high point comes when the ragtag bunch of staff try to pull the place back from the brink by serving sushi. It’s a deeply humane film, as well as a quietly hilarious one. --Time Out London

"A funny, heartfelt story about the Syrian Refugee Crisis." Cinevue
"Combines poignancy with torrents of laughter." The Telegraph
Cast Ville Virtanen, Dome Karukoski, Tommi Korpela
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