Cinema Explorations: The Other Side of Hope

Please Note: This film is no longer showing at Railroad Square Cinema

Aki Kaurismäki’s wry, melancholic comedy—a clear-eyed response to the current refugee crisis—follows two people searching for a new life. Displaced Syrian Khaled has escaped war-ravaged Aleppo and lands in Helsinki as a stowaway; meanwhile, middle-aged salesman Wikström leaves behind his wife and work using poker winnings to buy a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant. After Khaled is denied asylum, he eludes deportation to Aleppo—and fortuitously the paths of the two men cross. As deadpan as the best of the director’s work with a deep well of empathy for its down-but-not-out characters (many played by Kaurismäki’s ever-reliable stock company), the film is a bittersweet tale of human kindness in the face of official indifference. “The issue of migrants and refugees [may] still be something from which cinema mostly averts its gaze, [but] not Kaurismäki’s cinema…. His humane comedy [has] absorbed this idea, [and] in fact embraced it with almost miraculous ease and simplicity”—Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian. In Finnish, English, Arabic with English subtitles. Rated PG. 101 minutes.

Purchase Tickets Here!