The Other Side of Hope
Remember how Alexander Payne’s Citizen Ruth expansively covered the abortion issue from all sides? Same goes for this absurdist take on the risks involved in the emerging international community. When Khaled’s home is bombed in Aleppo, he escapes Syria only to be attacked by Polish skinheads before stowing away on a coal freighter to Helsinki where he seeks asylum. Meanwhile, Waldemar Wikström tires of being a traveling shirt salesman, so he leaves his wife to purchase The Golden Pint, a fledgling restaurant with paintings of Jimi Hendrix hanging on its walls that serves peppered sardines and sushi. With minimalist sets and a soundtrack comprised of bluesy-roots music sung in Finnish, this movie centers on these two men who’ve lost family but not the desire to improve their lot in life!