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The Other Side of Hope (2017)

Toivon tuolla puolen (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 3 February 2017 (Finland)
A poker-playing restaurateur and former traveling salesman befriends a group of refugees newly arrived to Finland.


Aki Kaurismäki


Aki Kaurismäki
8 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Ville Virtanen ... Oikeussalin viranomainen
Dome Karukoski ... Huligaani bussipysäkillä
Tommi Korpela ... Melartin
Kati Outinen ... Vaatekaupan omistaja
Milka Ahlroth ... Migrin haastattelija
Tommi Eronen ... Huligaani bussipysäkillä
Hannu-Pekka Björkman Hannu-Pekka Björkman ... Pokerinpelaaja
Sakari Kuosmanen ... Waldemar Wikström
Maria Järvenhelmi ... Vastaanottokeskuksen virkailija
Antti Virmavirta Antti Virmavirta ... Poliisi asemalla
Taneli Mäkelä Taneli Mäkelä ... Myyjä
Jörn Donner ... Pokerinpelaaja
Matti Onnismaa Matti Onnismaa ... Kylmäsilmäinen mies
Clas-Ove Bruun Clas-Ove Bruun ... Baarimikko
Kaija Pakarinen ... Wikströmin vaimo


Khaled, syrian refugee stows away on a freighter to Helsinki. Meanwhile, Wikström is a traveling salesman who wins big at a poker table and buys himself a restaurant with the proceeds. When the authorities turn down his application for asylum, Khaled is forced underground and Wikström finds him sleeping in the yard behind his restaurant. He offers him a job and a roof over his head and, for a while, they form a Utopian union with the restaurant's waitress, the chef and his dog. Written by AnonymousB

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Finland | Germany


Finnish | English | Arabic | Swedish | Japanese

Release Date:

3 February 2017 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Other Side of Hope See more »

Filming Locations:

Helsinki, Finland See more »


Box Office


EUR1,600,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,495, 3 December 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The actors playing Khaled and his sister, Miriam are real-life siblings. See more »


Khaled: Listen. I fell in love with Finland.
See more »


Referenced in Max Bishop See more »


Tämä maa
Written by Timo Kiiskinen, Tommi Viksten
Lyrics by Timo Kiiskinen
Performed by Harri Marstio and Antero Jakoila
See more »

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User Reviews

Deceptively simple but powerful experience
11 June 2017 | by kaptenvideo-89875See all my reviews

Remember the pretty boy Ronan Keating singing that you say it best when you say nothing at all? Of course you don't, you only listen to good music. But this could be the very motto of Finnish legendary moviemaker Aki Kaurismäki's latest. This minimalist masterpiece is so achingly simple and elegant and yet so complex in a good way, that there's no really good way to describe it, if you don't understand Kaurismäki's style already. „Toivon tuolla puolen" („The Other Side of Hope" in English, „Teispool lootust" in Estonian") is like a haiku: it can convey so much with so little words and even so little action. I can't find fitting comparisions here, but Kaurismäki comes across like Jim Jarmusch's less snobish cousin: even more concentrated on what it's like to be human and small things that life is actually made of. They both value storytelling through details but Kaurismäki's approach is more mainstreamfriendly: you don't have to invest yourself fully all the time to make sense of what's going on exactly. „Toivon tuolla puolen" offers two bittersweet stories interwining, about refugee in strange and hostile land and old entrepreneur who leaves his wife and finds fresh start in running a diner. It often feels like comedy – Kaurismäki's approach could be called Finnish version of Soviet nostalgia that many 30-year or older viewers will respond to and enjoy. Judging by Estonian premiere, it's a real crowdpleaser. But deeper down it's more about bleak and sad side of human existence: loneliness, being unwanted, trying to find purpose when everything has fallen down. And, of course, about how there's no winning with nowadays' refugee crisis – it brings suffering for everyone involved, except for maybe those who like to attack people who „shouldn't be here". I give this quietly hilarious and heartbreaking masterpiece a near- perfect score. Although it doesn't break new grounds for Kaurismäki, I can't think of a way how it could be improved in any meaningful way. The movie's not gonna satisfy everybody, nothing will, but it's almost perfect the way it is. Deceptively simple but powerful experience that you can't imagine getting from anybody else than Kaurismäki.

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