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  • Sun 28 May
  • 100 minutes
  • Director: Aki Kaurismäki
  • Finland (2017)



Finland 2017. Dir: Aki Kaurismäki. 100 mins. Subtitled.

Kati Outinen, Ville Virtanen, Tommi Korpela, Matti Onnismaa, Sherwan Haji, Jörn Donner.

The cinema's great master of deadpan comedy, Aki Kaurismäki, returns with the story of an unlikely friendship between a Syrian asylum seeker and an elderly Finnish restaurant owner. Winner of the Berlin Silver Bear for Best Director, it is a beautiful, timely film from one of the world's leading filmmakers.

Khaled arrives at the port of Helsinki concealed in 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 forges an unlikely friendship with Wikström who is also on the run – from a miserable marriage. Together, they help each other to navigate the problems they face in unfamiliar and often baffling new worlds. "Look happy," an Iraqi refugee tells Khaled, because "the melancholy ones are always deported first..."

With hilarious sight gags, poker-faced one liners and a toe-tapping rockabilly soundtrack, THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE balances unparalleled wit with a pressing critique of the unforgiving bureaucracy that greets vulnerable asylum seekers in modern-day Europe. Humane and sincere, it's proof of cinema's power to tell stories that matter, with beauty and heart.



The award-winning Child Migrant Stories project was launched in February 2016 by writer, researcher and photographer Eithne Nightingale. It drew, initially, on experiences of people who migrated under the age of 18 from across the world to East London from 1930 to the present day. Some came on their own; others came with, or to join family members who they may not have seen for years. A second phase, ‘Child Migrants Welcome?’ aims to explore positive and negative experiences of newly arrived children, the importance of friendship, and respect for difference and child attitudes to migration. The poignant, powerful and sometimes very funny stories have also been the basis for a series of short films produced with the help of filmmaker Mitchell Harris. The latest is LIFE IS A DESTINY...

LIFE IS A DESTINY (PG) - 15 mins

A Child Migrant Stories Production.

The story of Argun Ismet Imamzade, born 1949 in Limassol, Cyprus. After his parents left for England he lived with his grandparents, his brother and his 3 step-brothers from his mother’s first marriage. Their home was bombed in the conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots following independence from Britain in 1960. After some months in a refugee camp, and a very interrupted education, Argun, aged 13, and his older brother sailed to England to join their parents..

We are delighted to welcome Argun Ismet Imamzade and Eithne Nightingale to the Rio for a post-screening discussion and Q&A.