Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2017. Go to TIFF 2017 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.
The latest film by Master of deadpan comedy Aki Kuarismaki tackles the issue of the refugee crisis in Europe. As the film opens, the audience sees a Syrian refugee, Haji pull himself out of a coal dumpster in ship docked at a port in Finland. Khaled (Sherwan Haji) seeks refugee status but is ironically refused on the basis of peace in his region, just as news on the TV report multiple bombings in his town with dozens of casualties.
At the same time, a Finnish middle-aged man is seeking a new life for himself as he leaves his wife, wins money at poker and buys a restaurant business. The two meet after a fight and Haji is aided by the restaurant owner.
This is Kaurismaki’s most serious film to date and it sends an urgent message of the refugee status. Kaurismaki has still not lost his sense of humour as illustrated in an important scene in the film when Khaled says: “I love Finland like nothing you can imagine, but please get me out of here!”
For those familiar with Kaurismaki, there are familiar segments in this film that are found in his other films like the gambling, starting up a new restaurant business, the cute pet dog and the folk music.