Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki joked in a press conference in Berlin in this week when asked about his thought on “the Islamication” of Europe. Islamication? He repeated asking the reporter to repeat the last sentence, he went on to proclaim “Because Iceland is a bit good in football once, it doesn’t mean it’s a sensation of Europe, it was ok, but it was 8th in the world champion ship, it doesn’t mean that Iceland will conquer Europe – So I cant see any Islamication in Europe, just normal cultural changing”
Kaurismäki is Finland’s best-known film director and on Saturday night he won the Silver Bear award at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival on Saturday night for his moving film about the European refugee crisis.
In “The Other Side of Hope” a Syrian refugee Khaled (Sherwan Haji) makes it to Finland where he hopes to apply for asylum but ends up on the streets of Helsinki when his application is rejected. When Wikström, an peculiar character played by Kaurismäki reoccurring, actor Sakari Kuosmanen, takes him in things start looking up for young Khaled’s Future.
“We are all the same, tomorrow it will be you who is refugee, today it is him or her” Kaurismäki said in the press conference.
The film was to be the second in an intended trilogy, first of which was “Le Havre” released in 2011. However Kaurismäki has now said that “The Other Side of Hope” will be his last movie.