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Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 2017 Berlinale, where it topped the prestigious Screen International critics’ poll as best film of the festival, the hilarious and poignant new comedy from beloved director Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, Drifting Clouds, The Man Without A Past) is a richly enjoyable and compassionate crowdpleaser about the friendship between a newcomer to Helsinki and a budding – if completely inexperienced – restaurateur.
After arriving in Finland from Syria as a stowaway on a freighter, Khaled (superb newcomer Sherwan Haji) applies for asylum. Things don’t look encouraging, and not all locals present a welcoming face. But after crossing paths with stoic travelling shirt salesman-turned-entrepreneur Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen), he finds an unlikely source of kindness and connection. When Khaled eventually receives news of his missing sister, Wikström hatches a scheme to help reunite the pair, but it seems getting out of Finland is much, much trickier than getting in…
Kaurismäki’s thoughtful and unmistakably droll films often depict difficult situations and people working in solidarity to overcome them, but with THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE he reaches new levels of resonance. Indeed, this intelligent, funny and affecting film has been hailed one of his best.
Thursday 29th March