WNY Refugee Film Festival

The Other Side of Hope

The other side of hope



We are ending the WNY Refugee Film Festival with the Buffalo premiere of The Other Side of Hope, a feature film by the internationally renowned Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki. This is a film for cinephiles, students of the art of filmmaking, lovers of the off-beat, and supporters of refugees alike. A wry, melancholic comedy – Kaurismaki is famous for perfecting the genre – the film is a clear-eyed response to the current refugee crisis, following two characters searching for a place to call home. Displaced Syrian Khaled lands in Helsinki as a stowaway; meanwhile, middle-aged salesman Wikström 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. As deadpan as the best of the director’s work, and with a deep well of empathy for its down-but-not-out characters (many of them played by members of Kaurismäki's ever-reliable stock company), the film is a bittersweet tale of human kindness in the face of official indifference.

  • 2017 Silver Bear Award for Best Director (The Other Side of Hope), Berlin International Film Festival
  • 2017 Winner for Best Actor, Sherwan Haji, Dublin Critics Award, Dublin International Film Festival
At once honest and artful, a touching and clear-sighted declaration of faith in people and in movies.
— A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Leave it to Aki Kaurismäki, peerless master of humanist tragicomedy, to make the first great fiction film about the 21st century migrant crisis.
— Film Society of Lincoln Center

Official Site: https://www.theothersideofhope.com/

Director: Aki Kaurismaki

Running Time: 100 min.

Languages: Finnish, English, Arabic

Subtitles: English

Country: Finland

Production/Distribution Company: Sputnik/Janus Films