The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen) (2017)


Critic 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.


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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 (97) | Top Critics (21)

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…
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…

The Finnish auteur's compassion and absurd wit [are] once again abundantly evident.

Dec 7, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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

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 Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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