The Other Side of Hope is a Finnish comedic drama written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki (The Man Without a Past). It premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival where Kaurismäki won the Silver Bear for Best Director. The film stars Sherwan Haji and Sakari Kuosmanen.
Displaced Syrian Khaled (Sherwan Haji) lands in Helsinki as a stowaway; meanwhile, middle-aged salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves behind his wife and job and buys a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant. After Khaled is denied asylum, he decides not to return to Aleppo— and the paths of the two men cross fortuitously.
“With this film, I try my best to shatter the European way of only seeing refugees either as pitiful victims or as arrogant economic immigrants invading our societies to steal our jobs, our wives, our homes, and our cars,” explains Kaurismäki. “In European history, the creation and enforcement of stereotypical prejudices carry a sinister echo. I freely admit that The Other Side of Hope is, to a certain degree, a so-called “tendency” film, unscrupulously attempting to influence the opinions of its viewers while trying to manipulate their emotions in order to reach that goal.”
The Other Side of Hope is rated PG.