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.
Berlin IFF 2017 – Best Director
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).
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