This Week’s Recommendation: The Other Side of Hope
15 Jan 2021
The Other Side of Hope
100 mins, language Finnish
Directed by Aki Kaurismaki
The Other Side of Hope was 776th film screened by RFS on 12th December 2017. It was one of three fourth equal ranked films of Season 55, with an approval mark of 90% from those attending.
It follows on from director/writer Aki Kaurismaki's earlier refugee story, 2011's Le Havre, where an ageing shoe-shiner befriends a young African migrant. In this 2017 film, we see Khaled, a refugee from Aleppo, gradually emerge from a heap of coal in a Finnish harbour, having stowed away on a cargo ship. He decides to register as an illegal immigrant, where he learns from another refugee the best tactics for being allowed to stay - "be cheerful, but not too cheerful".
Meanwhile, lugubrious travelling salesman Waldemar Wikstrom has walked out on his alcoholic wife and then wins a small fortune at poker. He decides to buy a shabby restaurant called the Golden Pint, where the cook sleeps standing up with a cigarette in his mouth.
Khaled and Wikstrom eventually bump into each other (literally), and Khaled is offered a job in the restaurant, while he works out a way to bring his sister - lost en route from Aleppo - to Finland as well.
Full film notes are available in the Twickenham & Richmond Tribune - http://twickenhamtribune.com
The Other Side of Hope can be streamed from MUBI, Amazon Prime and Curzon and discs are available from Amazon and other retailers.
Presented by Richmond Film Society
Full list for Visual Arts/Film