Toivon tuolla puolen

The Other Side of Hope | Die andere Seite der Hoffnung
This film tells two stories that converge after forty minutes. The first of these features Khaled, a Syrian refugee. A stowaway on a coal freighter, he ends up in Helsinki where he applies for asylum without much hope of success. Wikström, the second main character, is a travelling salesman peddling ties and men’s shirts. Turning his back on his trade, he instead decides to put his poker face to good use at a gambling table and subsequently buys himself a restaurant in the remotest corner of Helsinki. When the authorities turn down Khaled’s application, he decides to remain in the country illegally, like so many other people who share his fate. Going underground in the Finnish capital, he lives on the streets and encounters all kinds of racism, but also some cool rock ’n’ rollers and genuine friendship. One day Wikström discovers Khaled sleeping in the dark backyard behind his restaurant. He provides him with a bed and a job. For a while, these two band together with the restaurant’s waitress, the chef and his dog to form a utopian union – one of Aki Kaurismäki’s typical communities bound together by fate which demonstrates that the world could and should be a better place.
by Aki Kaurismäki
with Sherwan Haji, Sakari Kuosmanen, Janne Hyytiäinen, Ilkka Koivula, Nuppu Koivu, Simon Hussein Al-Bazoon, Niroz Haji, Kaija Pakarinen
Finland / Germany 2017 Finnish, English, Arabic 98’ Colour


  • Sherwan Haji (Khaled)
  • Sakari Kuosmanen (Wikström)
  • Janne Hyytiäinen (Nyrhinen)
  • Ilkka Koivula (Calamnius)
  • Nuppu Koivu (Mirja)
  • Simon Hussein Al-Bazoon (Mazdak)
  • Niroz Haji (Miriam)
  • Kaija Pakarinen (Wife)


Written and Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
Cinematography Timo Salminen
Editing Samu Heikkilä
Sound Design Tero Malmberg
Sound Tero Malmberg
Set Design Ville Grönroos, Heikki Häkkinen, Markku Pätilä
Costumes Tiina Kaukanen
Make-Up Tiina Kaukanen
Assistant Director Eevi Kareinen
Casting Eevi Kareinen
Production Manager Mark Lwoff, Misha Jaari
Producer Aki Kaurismäki
Co-Producers Misha Jaari, Mark Lwoff, Reinhard Brundig
Co-Production Oy Bufo Ab Helsinki
Pandora Film Köln

Produced by

Sputnik Oy

Aki Kaurismäki

Born 1957 in Orimattila, Finland.

Filmography (selection)

1980 Valehtelija (Der Lügner) 1981 Saimaa-ilmiö (Saimaa Gesture); Co-director: Mika Kaurismäki 1982 Arvottoma (Die Wertlosen) 1983 Rikos ja rangaistus (Schuld und Sühne) 1984 Klaani (Der Klan) 1985 Calamari Union 1986 Varjoja paratiisissa (Schatten im Paradies) · Rocky VI; Short Film 1987 Hamlet liikemaailmassa (Hamlet macht Geschäfte) · Thru The Wire; Short Film · Rich Little Bitch; Short Film 1988 Ariel · L.A. Woman; Short Film 1989 Leningrad Cowboys Go America · Dirty Hands; TV Film 1990 Tulitikkutehtaan tyttö (Das Mädchen aus der Streichholzfabrik) 1991 I Hired a Contract Killer (Vertrag mit meinem Killer) · Boheemielämää (Das Leben der Bohème) · Those Were the Days; Short Film 1992 These Boots; Short Film 1993 Total Balalaika Show – Helsinki Concert; Documentary 1994 Pidä huivista kiinni, Tatjana (Tatjana, Take Care Of Your Scarf) · Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses 1996 Kauas pilvet karkaavat (Wolken ziehen vorüber) · Always Be Human 1999 Juha 2002 Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet; Episode Film, director of „Dogs Have No Hell“ · Mies vailla menneisyyttä (Der Mann ohne Vergangenheit) 2004 Bico; Short Film 2006 Laitakaupungin valot (Lichter der Vorstadt) 2007 The Foundry; Short Film 2011 Le Havre 2012 O tasqueiro; Short Film · The Pieksämäki Railwaystation Blues; Short Film 2017 Toivon tuolla puolen (The Other Side of Hope)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017