|Reviews & Columns|
TV on DVD
Reviews by Studio
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
The M.O.D. Squad
DVD Talk Forum
DVD Price Search|
Customer Service #'s
Other Side of Hope, The
The Other Side of Hope is the latest film
acclaimed Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki (Leningrad Cowboys,
Havre). It is produced by Kaurismäki alongside associate
Brundig (Whale Rider, Samsara) and co-producers Misha
Interrogation) and Mark Lwoff (The Good Son).
Khaled (Sherwan Haji) is a Syrian refugee trying
to find a
new beginning in Finland. Attempting to leave behind the dangers of
a bomb could fall on his head during his day to day routine, Khaled
and work in Helsinki. The Syrian refugee struggles to find a way to
normal life in this land with many opposed to the refugees in the
hate-crimes being committed by anti-immigrant groups. In one moment of
film, Khaled is attacked by a group wearing jackets with the words
"Liberation Army Finland" emblazoned on the back.
Waldemar Wikstrom (Sakari Kuosmanen) is a somewhat
salesman who is trying to do something new for a change by buying a
Thinking he got himself an excellent deal (though he didn't as the
suffering to start), he takes up the bar's reigns and tries to up the
the meal offerings from canned goods to the likes of the significantly
trendy sushi (though the staff has a terrible time of trying to adapt
As Khaled attempts to get by on a day-to-day
pursues his mission of trying to also bring over his sister to Finland
Along with the help of a friend he meets and gets to know over the
the story, Khaled navigates the country with as much vigor as he can
The film eventually intersects the two opposing storylines into one
find himself right outside of Wikstrom's restaurant. They have a quick
fist-fight before deciding to work together. Wikstrom gives Khlaed a
helps to give him a new chance at life in Finland, with other staff
lending their hand.
The film is both a deeply serious and moving drama
curiously humorous comedy with the unique voice its filmmaker,
film alternates between remarkably tender moments and moments that are
surprisingly funny that it's amazing the film can blend together these
so seamlessly. The film has a humanistic and sincere heart to it as it
the ways in which refugees are so often mistreated by foreign
lends his voice to why Finland should embrace and help the Syrian
their strife and with this film makes a statement against the
discrimination faced by many of the Syrian refugees in his country.
The film has an immaculate production design and
The art direction by Markku Patila (Lights in the Dusk, A
is notable with great sets and attributes. As with all films by
film has a distinct style which is aided by the superb work of the
team. The cinematography by Timo Salminen (I Hired a Contract Killer,
Man Without a Past) is also exquisite and gives the film a
melancholic atmosphere which leaves several lasting and beautiful
The film is also marked by its remarkable music.
doubt, The Other Side of Hope has one of the best soundtracks
entire year. With one superb music selection after another, with many
live, the music feels energetic, exciting, and undeniably cool. The
musicians gathered for this film all bring their own distinctive
piece and it helps to make the film even more refreshing.
Written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki (La
Vie De Boheme),
The Other Side of Hope is another brilliant masterpiece from the
director. His films have such a clear vision and style. The sensibility
master director is impeccable. Each frame feels essential to the story.
is no wasted moment. From the quiet, almost wordless beginning of the
the rewarding final shot, Kaurismäki's film is the kind that
of why cinema is so important. It will stay with you long after the
Presented on Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection
original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen, this 1080p
encoded presentation is a director-approved release of the film with a
The film was shot on 35mm Kodak film and has an undeniably impressive
to it on this release. The film keeps to the sensibility of photography
in each of Kaurismäki's efforts. Cinematographer Timo Salminen
gave the film
beautiful photography which enhances the experience.
Presented in Finnish
and Arabic 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio with English subtitles. This is a
lossless high-definition sound presentation with strong clarity and
Though the film is not one to have a very active surround sound
audio is pleasing for it's great dialogue reproduction and clarity for
excellent music featured throughout.
Inside of the package is a leaflet with a printed
about the film written by critic Girish Shambu.
On disc supplements include:
Interview with Sherwan Haji (HD, 15 min.)
is a newly
recorded interview with the lead actor of the film about how he became
in the production. He also discusses what it was like working with the
and explores their collaborative process.
Press Conference Footage (HD, 29 min.) style=""> as taken from the premiere of The Other
Side of Hope at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival,
writer/director Aki Kaurismäki, actor Sherwan Haji, and actor
Sakari Kuosmanen discussing
the film with the attending audience. Featuring great insight from
this is a must-see behind-the-scenes feature.
Aki and Peter (HD, 12 min.) is a video
featuring excerpts from the words of film critic Peter von Bagh about
Kaurismäki and his films. The Other Side of Hope was
director Kaurismäki to Peter von Bagh, who passed away, and had
been a big supporter.
Bagh even wrote a book about Kaurismäki's work (that book, alas,
has yet to be
translated to English).
Music Videos are provided in their full
versions (as featured in part during the main film) as follows:
(HD, 3 min.)
Music by Marko Haavisto and Poutahaukat
Title translation: "The Tango of my Longing"
(HD, 3 min.)
Music by Ismo Haavisto
Skulaa Tai Delaa
(HD, 3 min.)
Music by Dumari & Spuget featuring Esa
Title translation: "I Play or I Die"
(HD, 4 min.)
Music by Harri Marstio and Antero Jakoila
Title translation: "This Land"
Trailer (HD, 2 min.)
Kaurismäki is a remarkable filmmaker who
demonstrate why he is such a huge figure in foreign cinema with his
masterpiece The Other Side of Hope. This Criterion Collection
features an excellent presentation and a number of absorbing extras.
Deftly blending together the deeply personal and
Other Side of Hope is a must-see film.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.