The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents The Other Side of Hope
This wry, melancholic comedy from Aki Kaurismäki, whose films the MFAH has premiered for more than three decades, speaks to the current refugee situation. Khaled (Sherwan Haji), a displaced Syrian, lands in Helsinki as a stowaway. Meanwhile, middle-aged salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves behind his wife and job and improbably buys a seafood restaurant. Despite being denied asylum, Khaled remains in Finland, and the paths of the two men cross fortuitously.
A bittersweet tale of human kindness, The Other Side of Hope is as deadpan as the best of the director’s work, with a deep well of empathy for its down-but-not-out characters - many of them played by members of Kaurismäki's ever-reliable stock company.