Le Havre

No other contemporary filmmaker manages to blend deadpan, ironic humour with social commentary in quite the same manner as Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki. In Le Havre, the moody, retro ambiance of the film’s titular Norman port city enhances a tidy plot that blends the noirish elements of a Jean-Pierre Melville film with the gentle humanism of Jean Renoir at his best. Atmospheric, quiet and completely assured, Kaurisma¨ki employs these diverse elements to tell a highly contemporary story about illegal refugees, a subject of immediate relevance in today’s Europe. The film circles around Marcel Marx, a warm, aging bohemian artist who has retreated to the French port city of Le Havre and taken up work as a shoeshine man - a profession with a limited future, as everyone seems to be wearing running shoes. He is married to a woman with a heart of gold and, despite their poverty and limited means, he finds joy in their local neighbours, all of whom seem as if they have emerged intact from a 1930s movie. One day, Marcel befriends Idrissa, a young African immigrant hoping to make his way to England in a shipping container with other illegals. Marcel is determined to extend a helping hand to the wide-eyed boy, but the law, in the form of Inspector Monet, is equally determined to stand in his way. An intricate dance of hide-and-seek ensues, Marcel using all his ingenuity to hide Idrissa while the nefarious Monet keeps hot on the trail. Kaurismäki’s humour is always inclusive, insightful and intelligent, here deployed to assist what is in effect a realistic fairy tale. As with all fairy tales, surprises abound along the way. Piers Handling, Toronto Film Festival
Almanya Finlandiya Fransa 

Aki Kaurismäki

Aki Kaurismaki

Timo Salminen

Timo Linnasalo


André Wilms
Blondin Miguel
Elina Salo
Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Kati Outinen

Arri-Zeiss Award Munich
Fipresci Prize Cannes
Gold Hugo Chicago

17th Festival on Wheels