Magazine article New Internationalist

The Other Side of Hope

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Other Side of Hope

Article excerpt

The Other Side of Hope (98 minutes)

directed and written by Aki Kaurismäki

There won't be many comedies about the distress and hardship Syrian refugees face. This, like Kaurismäki's previous film (Le Havre), has a local middle-aged man shelter a young person who arrives, unlawfully, by boat. More downbeat, droll and sunless, The Other Side of Hope features Wikström, a Finn who manages a run-down Helsinki restaurant. Wikström hides and finds work for Khaled, whose family, apart from his sister, have died in the bombing of Aleppo.

It's an odd film - all Kaurismäki's films are. Austere, and about humdrum and everyday solidarity, the focus is on people whose hearts are in the right place. Wikström's chef and waiter, who have as much enthusiasm for their work as potatoes, try to hide from him the startled-looking dog who lives in the kitchen. …

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