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The Other Side of Hope Dir. Aki Kaurismäki

  • Finland
  • 100 mins
  • 2017
  • Drama | Comedy
  • Colour
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Main Cast: Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen

Finland’s master of deadpan comedy, Aki Kaurismäki returns with the story of an unlikely friendship between a Syrian asylum seeker and an elderly Finnish restaurant owner. Khaled 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, 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 and poker-faced one liners, 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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