The Other Side of Hope deftly blends tragedy and wry humour

The Other Side of Hope deftly blends tragedy and wry humour

This is a story of an unlikely community coming together under difficult circumstances

Quesnel Film Club’s third film presentation in its winter series is The Other Side of Hope on March 1 at the Carib Theatre.

Returning with his first feature in six years since his Film Circuit art-house favourite Le Havre (2011), Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki delivers what can be considered the second chapter of his Port Cities Trilogy.

The Other Side of Hope unerringly paints the unlikely bond between a Syrian refugee and a middle-aged menswear salesman turned restaurateur in Kaurismäki’s distinctive anachronistic, yet tonally rich style.

Khaled (newcomer Sherwan Haji) worked as a mechanic in Aleppo before fleeing in a coal ship container and accidentally landing on the shores of Helsinki. He emerges from his hiding place covered head to toe in black dust, an alien in an unfamiliar town.

Wikstrom (Sakari Kuosmanen), deeply unsatisfied with his life, leaves his prickly, alcoholic wife and offloads his remaining stock of men’s shirts to fund a career change. After taking a risk at a high-stakes poker game, Wikstrom is presented with a new breath of life that eventually connects and collides both men in an unpredictable friendship.

Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at this year’s Berlinale, The Other Side of Hope demonstrates the height of Kaurismäki’s form. Deftly mixing tragedy and wry humour, Kaurismäki builds a story of an unlikely community coming together under difficult circumstances. This idiosyncratic fable on the refugee crisis could not be more humane and timely.

Tickets for The Other Side of Hope are $9.50 (regular admission) and $7.50 (seniors admission) with film club membership included in admission price.

For more information, call 250-747-7422 or 250-747-3979 or join their Facebook page at Quesnel Film Club or visit www.quesnelfilmclub.ca.