Nýjasta kvikmynd hins nafntogaðast kvikmyndagerðarmanns Finnlands, Aki Kaurismäki fjallar um fyrrum farandsölumaður, núverandi veitingahúsaeiganda og pókerspilara, sem vingast við hóp af flóttamönnum sem eru nýkomnir til Finnlands.
Kvikmyndin er sú önnur í röðinni í hafnarborgatríólógíunni, en fyrsta myndin Le Havre kom út árið 2011.
Kaurismäki er einn þekktasti leikstjóri Evrópu en hann vakti fyrst athygli árið 1989 þegar hann gerði kvikmyndina Leningrad Cowboys Go America. Hann er þó trúlega frægastur fyrir kvikmyndina The Man Without a Past frá árinu 2002. Myndin var tilnefnd til Óskarsverðlauna en Kaurismäki neitaði að mæta á afhendinguna í mótmælaskyni við stríðsbrölt Bandaríkjastjórnar.
The Other Side of Hope hlaut Silvurbjörninn á nýafstaðinni kvikmyndahátíð Berlinale fyrir bestu leikstjórn.
This film tells two stories that converge after forty minutes. The first of these features Khaled, a Syrian refugee. A stowaway on a coal freighter, he ends up in Helsinki where he applies for asylum without much hope of success. Wikström, the second main character, is a travelling salesman peddling ties and men’s shirts. Turning his back on his trade, he instead decides to put his poker face to good use at a gambling table and subsequently buys himself a restaurant in the remotest corner of Helsinki. When the authorities turn down Khaled’s application, he decides to remain in the country illegally, like so many other people who share his fate.
Going underground in the Finnish capital, he lives on the streets and encounters all kinds of racism, but also some cool rock ’n’ rollers and genuine friendship. One day Wikström discovers Khaled sleeping in the dark backyard behind his restaurant. He provides him with a bed and a job. For a while, these two band together with the restaurant’s waitress, the chef and his dog to form a utopian union – one of Aki Kaurismäki’s typical communities bound together by fate which demonstrates that the world could and should be a better place.
The film is a second chapter in his “port city trilogy” that was kicked off with 2011’s charming “Le Havre.”
Aki Kaurismäki is a Finnish screenwriter and film director, after graduating in media studies from the University of Tampere, Aki Kaurismäki started his career as a co-screenwriter and actor in films made by his older brother, Mika Kaurismäki. Together they founded the production company Villealfa Filmproductions and later the Midnight Sun Film Festival. His debut as an independent director was Crime and Punishment (1983), an adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s novel set in modern Helsinki. He gained worldwide attention with Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989). In 1989 he emigrated with his wife to Portugal, saying “in all of Helsinki there is no place left where I could place my camera”.
Aki Kaurismaki won the Berlin International Film Festival’s 2017 Silver Bear for best director for The Other Side of Hope, a dramedy that finds the humanity, and humor, in the European refugee crisis.