The Other Side of Hope

Aki Kaurismäki, Finland, 2017o


Syrian refugee Khaled stows away on a freighter to Helsinki. Meanwhile, Wikström is a travelling salesman who wins big at a poker table and buys himself a restaurant with the proceeds. When the authorities turn down his application for asylum, Khaled is forced underground and Wikström finds him sleeping in the yard behind his restaurant. He offers him a job and a roof over his head and, for a while, they form a Utopian union with the restaurant’s waitress, the chef and his dog.

A new film by Aki Kaurismäki? That's only happened only now and then lately, and it's finally happening again this fall with Fallen Leaves. High time, therefore, to catch up with his last of 2017. Kaurismäki's world is famously made up of losers, drunks and other outsiders who bear their fate as unapologetically as taciturnly. In Kaurismäki's frenetic creative period, the 1980s and 1990s, these weird birds were recruited from petty employees and the last representatives of the Finnish industrial proletariat; with Le Havre (2011), Kaurismäki also discovered immigrants from Asia and Africa on the dark side of life. In The Other Side of Hope, he brings together his two hero types - for heroes of compassion and stoic dignity these antiheroes certainly are - to tell the story of a Syrian asylum seeker and an aging Finnish traveling salesman who try their luck as the help and new boss, respectively, of an old-fashioned pub full of stranded people. As usual, Kaurismäki treats his cast like amateur actors - to speak of acting and dialogue skill would be shameless exaggeration given the deliberately wooden marking of a rudimentary plot. But, as usual, Kaurismäki's stinginess works out artistically. His sarcastic exaggeration of exploitation and being exploited is spot on, his strongest images need no words. He is actually the last silent film director.

Andreas Furler

Vom ersten Bild des Hafens von Helsinki an weiss man, dass man sich in der Welt von Aki Kaurismäki befindet: einer, in der Charakterköpfe wenig reden, die Farben knallen und Solidarität noch kein Fremdwort ist. Souverän vermeidet der Finne dabei Kitsch und Sentimentalität. Dafür erhielt er in Berlin den Silbernen Bären für die beste Regie.

Thomas Bodmer


Sight & Sound, 2/16/2017
All rights reserved Sight & Sound. Provided by Sight & Sound Archiv
All rights reserved Süddeutsche Zeitung. Provided by Süddeutsche Zeitung Archiv
All rights reserved Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Provided by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Archiv
All rights reserved Provided by Archiv, 2/13/2017
All rights reserved Provided by Archiv
Der Standard, 2/24/2017
All rights reserved Der Standard. Provided by Der Standard Archiv
Hommage à Aki Kaurismäki
Luc Lagier / ARTE
fr / 5/18/2016 / 6‘18‘‘

Old Interview with Aki Kaurismäki (1990)
Christian Meunier / VintageEuroTV
en / 10/6/2008 / 8‘13‘‘

Movie Datao

Original title
Toivon tuolla puolen
Other titles
Die andere Seite der Hoffnung DE
L'autre côté de l'espoir FR
Comedy, Drama
Running time
98 Min.
Original languages
Finnish, English, Arabic
ØYour rating7.2/10
IMDB user:
7.2 (13526)
< 10 votes
< 3 votes q

Cast & Crewo

Sakari KuosmanenWikström
Sherwan HajiKhaled
Simon Al-BazoonMazdak


Hommage à Aki Kaurismäki
ARTE, fr , 6‘18‘‘
Old Interview with Aki Kaurismäki (1990)
VintageEuroTV, en , 8‘13‘‘
Review Sight & Sound
Nick James
Review Süddeutsche Zeitung
Tobias Kniebe
Review Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Bert Rebhandl
Lukas Stern
Thomas Groh
Interview mit Aki Kaurismäki
Der Standard / Dominik Kamalzadeh
We use cookies. By continuing to surf on you agree to our cookie policy. For details see our privacy policy.