10th edition CIFF – 10-14 April 2024

The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen) (2017 Feature Film)

Aki Kaurismäki | Finland, Germany | 2017 | color | DCP | 98 min | Finnish, English, Arabic | e.s.

“No problem. You are not the first one", is what a Syrian refugee is told by a dry-as-dust cop at the police station in Helsinki where he applies for political asylum. Enter the unique, mildly absurdist Finnish universe of Aki Kaurismäki in which both this newcomer and a born-and-bred Finn reinvent themselves.

Syrian Khaled emerges from underneath a mountain of coal on a boat that brought him to Finland as if reborn. He requests asylum in Helsinki and waits for status to be granted. Elsewhere in the city, Wikström – an aging sales rep – decides to radically change his life. He leaves his wife, earns a fortune playing poker and uses the money to buy an old-school restaurant – complete with staff. When Khaled’s asylum application is rejected, he decides to remain in Finland illegally. Because, in spite of the uneven experience, the Syrian has fallen for the place, hook, line and sinker. When both gentlemen accidentally meet, they prove to suit each other’s lives miraculously well.
Kaurismäki gives his own unique twist to the refugee crisis, creating a dryly humorous, absurdist world in which everyday cruelty is supplanted by humanity. The Finnish master has once again created a minimalist, retro universe without smartphones, but with ashtrays, foamless beer and guitar-strumming musicians.

Place: CINEMA 2

Date: 5 April 2017

Time: 20:00

Duration: 1:15

Place: CINEMA 1

Date: 8 April 2017

Time: 10:30

Duration: 1:15

Year in



Aki Kaurismäki


Timo Salminen


Sherwan Haji
Sakari Kuosmanen
Janne Hyytiäinen
Ilkka Koivula
Nuppu Koivu
Simon Hussein Al-Bazoon
Niroz Haji
Kaija Pakarinen




Samu Heikkilä




98 min


Aki Kaurismäki

Production Company

Sputnik Oy

Production Design

Ville Grönroos
Heikki Häkkinen
Markku Pätilä


The Match Factory


Aki Kaurismäki

Sound Design

Tero Malmberg

Year of Production



Aki KAURISMÄKI (1957, Finland) has become a world-famous filmmaker. His films, from Drifting Clouds to The Man Without a Past, for which he won the Golden Palm (for best director), are characterized by dry humor, a simple style and understated acting. After Le Havre, the first part of a trilogy about port cities, he contributed to the anthology film Centro HistóricoThe Other Side of Hope (2017) is his latest film. In Berlin, Kaurismäki was awarded a Silver Bear for best director for this, the second part of his port trilogy.



Saimaa ilmiö/The Saimaa Gesture (1981), Rikos ja rangaistus/Crime and Punishment (1983), Calamari Union (1985), Varjoja paratiisissa/Shadows in Paradise (1986), Rocky VI (1986, short), Hamlet liikemaailmassa/Hamlet Goes Business (1987), Thru the Wire (1987, short), Ariel (1988), Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989), Likaiset kädet (1988, TV), Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö/The Match Factory Girl (1990), I Hired a Contract Killer (1990), Those Were the Days (1991, short), La vie de bohème (1992), These Boots (1992, short), Total Balalaika Show (1993), Pidä huivista kiinni, Tatjana/Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatjana (1994), Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses (1994), Kauas pilvet karkaavat/Drifting Clouds (1996), Juha (1999), Mies vailla menneisyyttä/The Man Without a Past (2002) Laitakaupungin valot/Lights in the Dusk (2006), Le Havre (2011), Centro Histórico (2012, co-dir), Toivon tuolla puolen/The Other Side of Hope (2017)