Le Havre

Synopsis & Film Details

Screening Sponsor: Alliance Francaise de Fresno

This comedic drama from Finland won the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The movie paints a warmhearted portrait of the French harbor city of Le Havre, where fate throws a young African refugee into the path of a well-spoken bohemian who works as a shoeshine man. With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, the shoeshiner stands up to city officials who doggedly pursue the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale, critics have called the movie a charming and deadpan delight. A.O. Scott of The New York Times says director Aki Kaurismäki “has become a major inheritor of the comic/humanist tradition of Charlie Chaplin, Jean Renoir, and Jacques Tati.”

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
2011 / 93 mins / France / 35mm
In French with English subtitles

Critic Reviews

The Finnish director’s sense of humor is dry and dark as pitch, as he consistently finds moments of absurdity in the midst of strife and tragedy.

San Francisco Chronicle

”Le Havre” is a small bit of movie magic, a story that plays more as a fable even as it deals with something as topical as immigration.

Arizona Republic

If the name Aki Kaurismäki doesn’t mean anything to you, it should, and “Le Havre” may be the film to make it happen.

LA Times