The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen)
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‘The Other Side of Hope’ follows two people searching for a place to call home. Displaced Syrian Khaled (Sherwan Haji) lands in Helsinki as a stowaway; meanwhile, middle-aged salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves behind his wife and job and buys a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant. After Khaled is denied asylum, he decides not to return to Aleppo, and the paths of the two men cross fortuitously. Perhaps seeing something of himself in the battered man, Wikström hires Khaled as a cleaner and a dishwasher in his restaurant. As deadpan as the best of the Kaurismäki's work, and with a deep well of empathy for its down-but-not-out characters, ‘The Other Side of Hope’ is a bittersweet tale of human kindness in the face of official indifference.