Scandinavian Film Festival @ Palace Electric 2017

18 July 2017

The Scandinavian Film Festival never fails to deliver films that are about as far from the school holiday offerings we endure for the littlies in our lives in the preceding weeks.  Juxtaposing Despicable Me 3 with the opening night of the festival’s Other Side of Hope was a salient exposure to the ridiculous in life and the reality.

 The first had me questioning why some Minions have two eyes and the other s just one,and what the dickens are they saying, while Other Side of Hope brings a perspective to the plight of refugees in Finland, in a film with comedic undertones that don’t make you laugh and a cast of characters as cold as a Finnish winter.  

 Khaled from Aleppo stows away on a coal carrying container ship, emerging from this black hole to the harsh reality of finding his way through a bureaucratic mine field in Finland that eventually finds him working for a former travelling salesman with aspirations to be a successful restaurateur.

Maybe an extra festival cocktail of elderberry, Prosecco and pear would have put me in a different frame of mind for this film as the harsh reality for Khaled was just a tad too distressing, but compelling to watch and look for the hope.

With the after party- a guarantee of fine fare at this festival - the smorgasbord lived up to its reputation and the distinctly Scandinavian band livened up the demeanour of patrons after a film that left them in no doubt that film is as ever the perfect medium for stories that make us aware and frustrated by the situation of refugees around the world.

The Scandinavian Film Festival continues at Palace Electric until 2 August with an eclectic mix of the best films from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland