The Other Side of Hope (Toivon Tuolla Puolen)

22/11/2018 19:45.
Cert 15

Following Le Havre (2012), the first in his Dockyard trilogy, Kaurismäki sets this film in Helsinki, where Syrian refugee Khaled arrives in search of his lost sister. Kaurismäki’s familiar deadpan humour and use of 1950s style settings, are again in evidence. Refused asylum, Khaled goes on the run, encountering the dangers (and cold) of the streets. Meanwhile antihero Wikstrom prepares to leave his wife and the drudgery of his work in search of happier times in the restaurant business. Inevitably his and Khaled’s lives cross and new beginnings result. A gentle and mostly humorous commentary on the challenges of migration and acceptance in our times. Best director award, 2017 Berlin Film Festival. “It all adds up to a gently loving fable with a straightforward political message that home can be wherever you find it.” (Nick James,

Dir: Aki Kaurismäki  100mins  Fin/Ger 2017

Preceded by the Annual General Meeting at 7.30 pm

Programme Notes

From Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, 2011: The Man Without a Past, 2002) comes this comedy-drama involving a poker playing restaurateur and a former travelling salesperson Waldemar Wikström, played by Sakari Kuosmanen (Drifting Clouds,1996: Shadows in Paradise,1986). He ends up befriending Khaled, played by Sherwan Haji (Bullets, 2018), one of a group of refugees who have just arrived in Finland.

The film did very well on the festival circuit, picking up this year’s Silver Condor Award for Best Foreign Film at the Argentinian Film Critics Association Awards. Haji gained acting accolades at the 2017 Dublin International Film Festival and the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

Acknowledgements: Anon,, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

“[…] Hope is as contemporary and vital a film as you’re likely to find […] but it’s also one of the funniest and most classically (not to mention beautifully) cinematic too” Rory O’Connor, The Film Stage

“As a writer, Kaurismäki has a precious knack for jokes that work beautifully in any language”Tim Robey, The Telegraph

Sakari Kuosmanen – Waldemar Wikstrom
Sherwan Haji – Khaled
Ville Virtanen  – Oikeussalin viranomainen
Dome Karukoski  – Huligaani bussipysäkillä
Kati Outinen -Vaatekaupan omistaja

Director – Aki Kaurismäki
Producer – Aki Kaurismäki et al
Screenplay – Aki Kaurismäki
Cinematography – Timo Salminen
Art Direction – Markku Pätilä


  • Wonderful – music excellent!
  • Bittersweet film. How could I be so brilliantly entertained by such a sad film?
  • Amazing that such sad events could produce a feel-good film
  • Full of everything that makes Kaurismaki such a distinctive voice in Finnish cinema. Packed with universal themes dealt with by an exceptional balance of light-hearted and dramatic moments
  • Witty, moving, quirky, topical and just about as downbeat as you could make it!
  • A witty and encouraging story. Finland seemed a lot more multi-cultural than I expected
  • Nice, quirky humour
  • I enjoyed just about all of the multifarious scenes. This must have been the year’s most incomprehensible plot
  • A new dog for Kaurismaki!
  • Too much not-very-good music. Too slow. Realistic bits not very believable
  • Comedy not very funny – drama unconvincing
  • I don’t remember Finland as being so dreary


A:7, B:13, C:2, D:0, E:0 to give 81% from 73% of those present.