The 2017 Sarajevo Film Festival will open August 11 with a screening of Aki Kaurismäki’s The Other Side of Hope at the National Theater and the Open Air Cinema. The film premiered at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear for Best Director.
The Other Side of Hope is the story of Khaled, a refugee from wartorn Syria who arrives at the port of Helsinki inside a coal container. Frustrated by the monolithic administration he encounters at a detention center in Finland, he makes a break for it and heads out onto the streets. There he meets Wikström, a former shirt salesman who has recently left his alcoholic wife for a new life as a bachelor restaurateur. The two men help each other navigate the adversities they face in the unfamiliar and often baffling new worlds.
The film was described by critics as a bittersweet drama that uses the burning, grim issue of a global refugee crisis to tell a story about the real power of sincere friendship and human kindness, laced with humor and packed with saddening but amusing characters and situations.
The film will be introduced to Sarajevo audiences by actors Simon Al-Bazoon and Sherwan Haji.