Le Havre

Starring André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin and  Blondin Miguel
Written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki
Finland/France/Germany 2011
93 mins

2019 is our tenth year as a film club. To mark this we will screen a movie that may have gone under your radar from every year that we have been operating.

'Le Havre' was released in 2011 - it is the 16th feature by Aki Kaurismäki - Finland's best known director, whose movies are distinguished by their deadpan humour and minimalist approach. Kaurismäki's characters are given laconic dialogue and his films have a strange detached quality which belies their subtlety and grace. His pictures have often been nominated for awards and in 2002 'The Man Without A Past' was awarded the Grand Prix at Cannes while iIn 2017 'The Other Side Of Hope' won the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlin Film Festival.

This film centres on Marcel Marx - a failed writer working as a shoeshiner in the down-at-heel French port of Le Havre. When his wife Arletty becomes ill and he crosses paths with Idrissa - an underage illegal immigrant from Africa -Marcel's life takes a different turn. He and his neighbours rally round to hide the boy from the authorities who may, or may not, be hot on their heels...

'Le Havre' is filled with the director's trademark touches - as Leslie Felperin wrote in Variety: 'Le Havre is a continual pleasure, seamlessly blending morose and merry notes with a deftness that's up there with Kaurismäki's best comic work'. It's a quirky picture full of eccentricity and humanity from one of the true auteurs working today.