Rating: M
Length: 100 mins
Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen

Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 2017 Berlinale, where it topped the prestigious Screen International critics’ poll, and selected as Best Film of the Year by the International Federation of Film Critics, 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.

★★★★★ “Gorgeous. You wonder how on earth Kaurismäki can bring a smile back to our faces, let alone the torrents of laughter, later on, that his film manages to unleash. He has a precious knack for jokes that work beautifully in any language.” – Tim Robey, THE TELEGRAPH
★★★★ “A whimsical joy from start to finish. Pure, unadulterated cinematic pleasure.” – David Jenkins, LITTLE WHITE LIES
★★★★ “A gem of poker-faced comic absurdism. Touching and compassionate… A deeply humane film.” – Dave Calhoun, TIME OUT LONDON

Official Trailer