During a ceremony on Saturday night, Aki Kaurismäki was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival for The Other Side Of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen).
In The Other Side Of Hope, Syrian refugee Khaled stows away on a freighter to Helsinki. Meanwhile, Wikström is a travelling salesman who wins big at a poker table and buys himself a restaurant with the proceeds.
When the authorities turn down his application for asylum, Khaled is forced underground and Wikström finds him sleeping in the yard behind his restaurant. He offers him a job and a roof over his head and, for a while, they form a Utopian union with the restaurant’s waitress, the chef and his dog.
Kaurismäki is best known for Oscar-nominated The Man Without A Past, which earned him the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2002. However, he recently told Finnish broadcaster YLE that The Other Side Of Hope, which continues the theme of immigration started with Le Havre in 2011, would be his last as director.