The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »
The married Bongwan leaves home in the dark morning and sets off to work. The memories of the woman who left weigh down on him. That day Bongwan's wife finds a love note, bursts into the office, and mistakes Areum for the woman who left.
Janina Duszejko, an elderly woman, lives alone in the Klodzko Valley where a series of mysterious crimes are committed. Duszejko is convinced that she knows who or what is the murderer, but nobody believes her.
Khaled, syrian refugee stows away on a freighter to Helsinki. Meanwhile, Wikström is a traveling salesman who wins big at a poker table and buys himself a restaurant with the proceeds. When the authorities turn down his application for asylum, Khaled is forced underground and Wikström finds him sleeping in the yard behind his restaurant. He offers him a job and a roof over his head and, for a while, they form a Utopian union with the restaurant's waitress, the chef and his dog. Written by
Prior the film's release director-producer Aki Kaurismäki and his long-time set decorator Markku Pätilä got into dispute on how the credits are listed in the Finnish titled version as all set related credits (set decorator, property master and set builder) are listed under single title "Lavastus". Kaurismäki's response for that this wording would downgrade Pätilä's role and artistic rights in the set design, Kaurismäki rejected these claims and also said Kaurismäki himself designed the detailed visual look of the film and even provided large part of the props. The response also promised that in the international version with English titles Pätilä would be the only person listed under title "set decorator". On February 1st 2017 Pätilä and his lawyers filed a case to The Market Court in Helsinki to seek injunction on film's release in Finland in its current form and the next day the court ruled that there is no need to ban the film and the issues regarding the rights on the film's set design will be determined later - assuming the parties cannot reach a settlement outside the court prior that. See more »
There's no doubt about it, Aki is back once again with a wonderful film. "The Other Side of Hope" basically tells two stories. First there's an older Finnish man who opens a small restaurant. And then there's a Syrian man who finds his way to Finland in order to start a new life. As you can probably guess, these two stories find a way to connect. And in a surprisingly good and heartwarming way.
It was interesting to see the two cultures interact with each other. I love the kindness that so many characters bring with them. The film finds an excellent way to mix humour with drama while also bringing up some relevant issues. Many of the restaurant scenes are very funny and they made me laugh. While other scenes like when a character plays music from his homeland one final time before being deported almost brought a little tear to my eye. The entire thing is still packed with all the classic Kaurismäki elements. You can almost do a drinking game; "Point out all of Aki's personal tropes". I have to say that some of my favorite parts were whenever they were trying to change the restaurant in order to fit in with the modern times. It was almost metaphorical. It's like the filmmakers themselves had never changed, but the world around them did.
Timo Salminen's cinematography is on point with excellent use of framing and colors. I admire that they still use film instead of digital. Aki is very similar to Tarantino in that subject. He has said that if they weren't able to use film he would stop making movies all together. I hope this is not his final movie. I feel like he has many stories left to tell. I'll be here waiting for whenever a new one comes out, because I never get tired of the personality that comes with his work.
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