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Aki Kaurismäki's “The Other Side of Hope“ to Open 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival

The 23rd edition of the annual Sarajevo Film Festival opens 11 August, 2017 with a screening of Aki Kaurismäki's THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE at the National Theatre and the Raiffeisen Open Air Cinema in Sarajevo.

The Finnish master's first feature in six years is an exceptional thematic twin to his  LE HAVRE (2011), which opened the 17th Sarajevo Film Festival.

THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE premiered at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear for Best Director and was equally well received by audiences and critics.

The film was described by critics as a bittersweet drama that uses the burning, grim issue of the global refugee crisis to tell a story about the real power of honest friendship and human kindness, infused with humour and filled with equally saddening and amusing characters and situations. With THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE, the chronicler of marginalised voices, as Kaurismäki is often called by film critics, once again confirms his unique talent for reaching the hearts of filmgoers with his simple and unpretentious creative voice.

The film will be introduced to Sarajevo audiences by actors Simon Al-Bazoon and Sherwan Haji.



THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE / TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN
Finland, Germany, 2017, 98 min.
Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Cast: Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen, Janne Hyytiäinen, Ilkka Koivula, Nuppu Koivu, Simon Hussein Al-Bazoon, Niroz Haji, Kaija Pakarinen

Khaled arrives at the port of Helsinki concealed inside a coal container, fleeing war-torn Syria to seek asylum in Finland. Dazed and frustrated by the monolithic administration he encounters at the detention centre, he makes a break for it and heads out onto the streets. There he meets Wikström, a former shirt salesman who has recently left his alcoholic wife for a new life as a bachelor restaurateur. Together, the two men help each other navigate the adversities they face in these unfamiliar and often baffling new worlds.



REVIEWS: 

Another slice of poetic-realism from the master chronicler of marginalised voices.
Cinevue

Winsome, sweet, and often very funny.
Indiewire

Devilishly funny. 
The Guardian

Screaminigly funny... Simply sublime.
The List

Gorgeous.
The Telegraph

Deeply humane.
Time Out



DIRECTOR'S BIOGRAPHY 
Aki Kaurismäki was born in 1957 in Orimattila, Finland. He started his career as a co-director on the films of his elder brother Mika Kaurismäki. His debut as an independent director was CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, an adaptation of Dostoyevsky's novel set in modern Helsinki. Through his collaboration with the rock band the Leningrad Cowboys in several of his films, his worldwide fame has increased. Kaurismäki's most acclaimed film is THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST, which won the Grand Prix and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2003. His 2017 film THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. 


DIRECTOR'S FILMOGRAPHY:
2017 – TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN / THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE
2011 – LA HAVRE
2002 – MIES VAILLA MENNEISYYTTÄ / THE MAN WITHOUT A PAST
1999 – JUHA
1996 – KAUAS PILVET KARKAAVAT / DRIFTING CLOUDS
1990 – TULITIKKUTEHTAAN TYTTÖ / THE MATCH FACTORY GIRL
1990 – I HIRED THE CONTRACT KILLER
1989 – LENINGRAD COWBOYS GO AMERICA
1988 – ARIEL
1986 – VARJOJA PARATIISISSA / SHADOWS IN PARADISE
1985 – CALAMARI UNION
1983 – RIKOS JA RANGAISTUS / CRIME AND PUNISHMENT


 

BABY DRIVER closes the 23rd Sarajevo Film Festival
Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award: John Cleese
APRIL’S DAUGHTER Screened in Open Air Programme
Open Air: THE FROG
GOOD TIME in Reiffeisen Open Air Cinema tonight