Dir: Aki Kaurismäki
Starring: Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen
Following on from “Le Havre”, Kaurismäki’s latest film again takes as its subject the plight of refugees in Europe. In “The Other Side of Hope” we first see Khaled Ali as a stowaway, emerging from a pile of coal on a freighter! He applies for asylum in Finland and seeks news of his sister Miriam, thought to be somewhere in Northern Europe. Khaled’s tragi-comic experiences as a refugee are bathed in the doleful atmosphere typical of the director, who takes “deadpan” to a new level! Moments of despair and violence are lightened by scenes of quiet hilarity and unexpected acts of compassion, especially after Khaled encounters the lugubrious Waldemar, would-be entrepreneur and fairy godfather. An odd couple indeed!