The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen)

Critics Consensus

Writer-director Aki Kaurismäki further sharpens his craft with The Other Side of Hope, offering a timely drama whose melancholy air is leavened by its empathy.



Total Count: 102


Audience Score

User Ratings: 617
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Movie Info

This wry, melancholic comedy from Aki Kaurismäki, a clear-eyed response to the current refugee crisis, follows two people searching for a place to call home. 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. 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 Other Side of Hope is a bittersweet tale of human kindness in the face of official indifference.

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Critic Reviews for The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen)

All Critics (102) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (93) | Rotten (9)

  • Most of the characters face a daily question: to be kind or unkind. Kaurismaki builds a heroic narrative around that idea.

    Mar 28, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Finnish films have been generating buzz lately. "Tom of Finland" and "The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki" have found a small, if enthusiastic, audience...Aki Kaurismäki's charmingly deadpan "The Other Side of Hope" should follow a similar path.

    Jan 11, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Blues musicians in Finland. Who know there was such a thing?

    Dec 15, 2017 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • It's refreshing to see a film about the refugee crisis that doesn't rely on cliche, but the fact remains: The mundane is mundane.

    Dec 13, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • One couldn't help but think of the obvious, heavy-handed messaging we'd be spared if all directors followed Kaurismäki's expert smuggling techniques.

    Dec 8, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The guiding ethic of The Other Side of Hope is as much topical as it universal: that altruism is not especially brave or courageous, but just the basic principle governing relations between human beings.

    Dec 8, 2017 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen)

  • Sep 22, 2017
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Feb 20, 2017
    It has everything that anyone can expect from an Aki Kaurismäki film, including his hilarious deadpan humor and usual style with a theatrical mise-en-scène and palette of saturated colors - all of which he uses to make a caustic commentary on the racism of Finnish society.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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