Combines poignancy with torrents of laughter. ★★★★★ The Telegraph
Finland’s master of deadpan comedy, Aki Kaurismäki (Lights in the Dusk, Le Havre), returns with the story of an unlikely friendship between a Syrian asylum seeker and an elderly Finnish restaurant owner. Winner of the Berlin Silver Bear for Best Director, it’s a beautiful, timely film from one of the world’s leading auteurs.
Khaled (Sherwan Haji) arrives at the port of Helsinki concealed in a coal container, fleeing war-torn Syria to seek asylum in Finland. Dazed and frustrated by the monolithic administration he encounters at the detention centre, he makes a break for it and heads out onto the streets.
There he meets Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen), a former shirt salesman who has recently left his alcoholic wife for a new life as a bachelor restaurateur. Together, they help each other to navigate the adversities they face in these unfamiliar and often baffling new worlds.
With hilarious sight gags, poker-faced one liners and a toe-tapping rockabilly soundtrack, Kaurismäki’s latest balances his unparalleled wit with a pressing critique of the unforgiving bureaucracy that greets vulnerable asylum seekers in modern-day Europe.
Humane and sincere, it’s proof of cinema’s power to tell stories that matter, with beauty and heart.
‘Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismäki’s film is filled with curious oddballs, but there are also many ethical connundrums to contend with.’ – ★★★★ The Irish Times
‘Finds the artist at the height of his powers… winsome, sweet, and often very funny.’ – Indiewire
TOIVON TUOLLA PUOLEN |Finland, 2017 | Language: Finnish | 98 minutes | Cert: 12
Director: Aki Kaurismaki
Cast: Ville Virtanen, Kati Outinen, Tommi Korpela, Sakari Kuosmanen
Director Sinéad O’Loughlin will attend and introduce her short Irish film, Homecoming, about a young man’s struggles to find his place in life after returning to Ireland. A familiar face makes him wonder if things are about to change. Her 12-minute film will be shown before the feature.