Completely original and authentic
Impressively good! Deeply regrettable that the Fin has announced that this gem will be his last film
With bone-dry humour, the Finnish master film maker Aki Kaurismäki shows us the everyday problems faced by refugees in the West. Syrian Khaled arrives in Finland as a stowaway and immediately ends up behind the locked doors of an asylum centre. When he escapes from there he meets the oddball restaurant owner Wikström, who without asking questions takes him under his wing.
The ways in which Khaled evades the authorities are highly comical. By contrast, the scenes in which he tells about his gruelling journey and the discrimination he experiences are deeply emotional and effective.
The Other Side of Hope is an enjoyable film in which bluesy music is strikingly present. The scene in which Khaled , reminiscing about home, plays a bağlama (an Arabic lute) is one of the film’s finest. We evidently need to stay critically aware of what it means when our society excludes refugees. But luckily there is always hope, and there is this film.
For this film gem, Kaurismäki received the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlin Film Festival. A film not to be missed!