Toivon tuolla puolen

Finland, Germany 2017

Synopsis

The film consists of two stories that by chance intersect at the forty-minute mark. The first one is about Khaled, a young Syrian refugee who has lost virtually all of his family. Almost by accident, he drifts to Helsinki as a stowaway passenger on a collier to seek asylum without great hopes for his future life.
Wikström, the other protagonist, is a travelling salesman of about fifty (representing mainly men’s shirts and ties). In the beginning of the film he leaves his alcoholic wife and his profession and turns momentarily into a poker shark. With the small amount of money he thus gains he then buys an unprofitable restaurant at the far end of an inner court along a back street in Helsinki.
When the authorities decide to return Khaled to the ruins of Aleppo he, just like many others, decides to stay illegally in the country and disappears into the streets of Helsinki. There he meets, besides various types of racism, also pure kindness. Finally Wikström finds our fellow sleeping in the inner yard of his restaurant. Perhaps he sees something of himself in the battered man because he hires Khaled as a cleaner and a dishwasher.
For a moment life shows us its sunnier side, but fate soon intervenes and the film concludes with an open ending leading either to a respectable life or to the cemetery. For a person driven into a corner, both have their merits.

Directors Statement

With this film, I try to do my best to shatter the European way of only seeing refugees as either pitiful victims or arrogant economic immigrants invading our societies merely to steal our jobs, our wives, our homes and our cars.
In European history, the creation and enforcement of stereotypical prejudices carries 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 views and the opinions of its viewers whilst trying to manipulate their emotions in order to reach that goal.
Because these efforts will naturally fail what will remain is, I hope, an upright and slightly melancholy story carried along by humour, but in other ways almost realistic film about certain human destinies here in this world, today.

Biography

Filmography:
1981 SAIMAA GESTURE (co-dir. with Mika Kaurismäki)
1983 CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
1985 CALAMARI UNION
1986 SHADOWS IN PARADISE
1986 ROCK ́Y VI, short
1987 HAMLET GOES BUSINESS
1987 THRU THE WIRE, short
1987 RICH LITTLE BITCH, short
1988 ARIEL
1988 L.A. WOMAN, short
1989 LENINGRAD COWBOYS GO AMERICA
1989 DIRTY HANDS, TV film
1989 THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL
1990 I HIRED A CONTRACT KILLER
1991 LA VIE DE BOHEME
1991 THOSE WERE THE DAYS, short
1992 THESE BOOTS, short
1993 TOTAL BALALAIKA SHOW - HELSINKI CONCERT, doc.
1993 TAKE CARE OF YOUR SCARF, TATJANA
1993 LENINGRAD COWBOYS MEET MOSES
1996 DRIFTING CLOUDS
1996 ALWAYS BE HUMAN, short
1999 JUHA
2002 DOGS HAVE NO HELL, short
2002 THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST
2004 BICO, short
2006 LIGHTS IN THE DUSK
2007 THE FOUNDRY, short
2011 LE HAVRE
2012 O TASQUEIRO, short
2012 THE PIEKSÄMÄKI RAILWAYSTATION BLUES, short
2017 THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE
 | 

Cast & Crew

Directed by : Aki Kaurismäki

Written by : Aki Kaurismäki

Produced by : Aki Kaurismäki

Director of Photography : Timo Salminen

Editor : Samu Heikkilä

Production Design : Aki Kaurismäki

Costume Design : Tiina Kaukanen

Sound Design : Tero Malmberg

Main Cast : Sherwan Haji (Khaled), Sakari Kuosmanen (Wikström), Kaija Pakarinen (wife), Niroz Haji (Miriam), Janne Hyytiäinen (Nyrhinen), Ilkka Koivula (Calamnius), Nuppu Koivu (Mirja), Simon Hussein Al-Bazoon (Mazdak)

Nominations and Awards

  • People's Choice Award 2017
  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2017