The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »
After fifteen years' service, Henri Boulanger is made redundant from his job. Shocked, he attempts suicide, but can't go through with it, so he hires a contract killer in a seedy bar to ... See full summary »
The Cowboys are lured from Mexico to Coney Island by their former manager who disappeared at the end of Leningrad Cowboys Go America. He believes he is the reincarnation of Moses, sent to lead them back to the promised land - Siberia.
Lugubrious Finns Valto and Reino take to the road in search of coffee and vodka, without which their lives are not worth living. But their reveries are interrupted by the arrival of ... See full summary »
Khaled, syrian refugee stows away on a freighter to Helsinki. Meanwhile, Wikström is a traveling salesman who wins big at a poker table and buys himself a restaurant with the proceeds. When the authorities turn down his application for asylum, Khaled is forced underground and Wikström finds him sleeping in the yard behind his restaurant. He offers him a job and a roof over his head and, for a while, they form a Utopian union with the restaurant's waitress, the chef and his dog.Written by
The Other Side of Hope tackles a timely matter, the refugee crisis in Europe in the wake of the ISIL wars, with a wry and deadpan sense of humour, resulting in a product with a lot of personality and colour. It's a Finnish film that received international attention but doesn't present the Finns themselves in a totally positive light- but then, we know the Finns haven't been the only ones to show a complete lack of humanity and empathy towards those who've suffered so much.
The film boasts a number of memorable characters, particularly Waldemar Wikström, who purchases a restaurant called The Golden Pint while looking for a new line of work after a separation. A profitable business, he is told, because people drink when times are bad, and more when times are good. He finds himself leading a staff of three Finns, then a dog, and finally Khaled, a Syrian refugee only looking for his sister. Wikström brings Khaled in after the courts decide, rather dubiously, that there is no war in Aleppo.
The Other Side of Hope isn't naive in imagining a harmonious outcome for everyone. It brings us a vision of hardships that nevertheless, with its humour and hope, inspires, and brings a smile to the face.
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