The Other Side of Hope is Aki Kaurismäki’s follow up to Le Havre and screens at the Vernon Towne Cinema Dec. 11. (Sputnik image)

Finnish director shows Scandinavian grit

The Vernon Film Society Screen's Aki Kaurismaki's The Other Side of Hope Dec. 11

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The last movie of the fall season for the Vernon Film society is on Monday, Dec. 11 at the Vernon Towne Cinema.

The movie — The Other Side of Hope — is Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s follow up to the highly acclaimed Le Havre, which Vernon audiences enjoyed some time ago.

This timely film follows the story of a Syrian asylum seeker Khaled (Sherwan Haji) from Aleppo who has lost his entire family and Wikstrom (Sakari Kuosmanen) a fifty-something travelling salesman who has left his alcoholic wife and a purchased a restaurant in the back streets of Helsinki with meagre winnings from playing poker. The two parallel stories eventually come together, making an interesting drama interleaved with humour.

Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at this year’s Berlinale, The Other Side of Hope demonstrates the height of Kaurismäki’s auteurial 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.

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“This is a world that reeks of cigarette smoke and cheap vodka, yet as always in the work of Finland’s maestro of droll melancholy, the perfume that lingers longest is empathy,” said David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter.

The Other Side of Hope shows at the Vernon Towne Cinema Dec. 11 at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. All seats $7, cash only. Tickets available one week ahead at theatre and The Bean Scene Coffee House. Rated PG, subtitles.

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