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The Other Side of Hope

Aki Kaurismäki
Toivon tuolla puolen
Germany, Finland 2017 / 98’
The Beguiled The Square

Another great triumph by Aki Kaurismäki. Following the success of Le Havre-shot in France and filled with allusions to French cinema of the 1930s and 1940s-the Finnish master decided to return to his homeland. In The Other Side of Hope, an award winner at this year's Berlinale, he tells the story of a jaded resident of Helsinki who decides to change his life and open a restaurant. One day, Wikström has a chance encounter with a refugee from Syria named Khaled. Although they get off on the wrong foot, the two men quickly establish a deep bond that will eventually face a number of difficult tests. In Kaurismäki's latest film, he does not remain deaf to the voices-growing ever louder throughout the world-of xenophobia and nationalism (in one scene, Khaled talks about how he was beaten by skinheads in Gdańsk while on his way to Finland). However, the director is able, in his usual way, to break through this layer of sadness to offer viewers a small dose of uneasy optimism and his contagious sense of humor.

Piotr Czerkawski

awards

Berlin IFF 2017 – Best Director

Aki Kaurismäki

Born in Orimattila in 1957, Aki Kaurismäki is one of the most important filmmakers in contemporary cinema. He began his career at the side of his older brother, Mika, with whom he founded Villealfa Filmproductions. He began developing his distinctive style-relying on a combination of an absurd sense of humor and profound melancholy-in his very first feature films. He has won numerous prestigious film awards, including the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival for The Man Without a Past (2002).

Filmography

1983 Zbrodnia i kara / Rikos ja rangaistus / Crime and Punishment

1989 Leningrad Cowboys jadą do Ameryki / Leningrad Cowboys Go America

1990 Wynająłem płatnego mordercę / I Hired a Contract Killer

1992 Życie cyganerii / La Vie de bohème

1994 Total Bałałajka Show / Total Balalaika Show (doc.)

1996 Dryfujące obłoki / Kauas pilvet karkaavat / Drifting Clouds

2002 Człowiek bez przeszłości / Mies vailla menneisyyttä / The Man Without the Past

2006 Światła o zmierzchu / Laitakaupungin valot / Lights in the Dusk

2011 Człowiek z Hawru / Le Havre

Cast & Crew

director Aki Kaurismäki
screenplay Aki Kaurismäki
cinematography Timo Salminen
editing Samu Heikkilä
sound Tero Malmberg
cast Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen, Janne Hyytiäinen
producer Aki Kaurismäki
production Sputnik, Oy Bufo Ab, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)
Polish distributor Gutek Film
language Finnish, English
colouration colour