Posted by: greercn | June 15, 2017

The Other Side Of Hope (Toivon Tuolla Puolen)

Funny, tragic and utterly moving, Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki has made another terrific film.

How can a story about a Syrian refugee, seeking asylum in Finland and his meeting a salesman turned restaurant owner be so extraordinary and compelling to watch?

It’s certainly not because of the soundtrack, although the music fits the story.

“Le Havre” is one of the best films I have ever seen. This new Kaurismaki tale shifts straight to the best film of the year position, in my view.

Two excellent performances from Sherwan Haji and Sakari Kuosmanen kept my attention throughout. I actually forgot it was subtitled as so much of what happens is communicated through looks and movements.

As the screening ended at Stratford East Picturehouse, everyone looked happy and thoughtful. All the comments I heard were positive and that’s very unusual.

Don’t read too much about it. I knew very little so the story just unfolded in a thoroughly magical way.

Images from this are staying with me. See it. It’s original, fantastic and timely.

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