"Four stars! There is nothing cheap or cynical about Le Havre, it tells a good story with clear eyes and a level gaze, and it just plain makes you feel good."—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
One of the biggest crowd-pleasers at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Le Havre is the great filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki’s wry, warm-hearted tribute to classic French cinema and to the port city of the title. The story follows Marcel, a down-and-out but well-read shoeshine man in the French port city of the title, as he crosses paths and then tries to help Idrissa, a young refugee from Gabon who has arrived in France in a shipping container.
With innate optimism and the unwavering support of his community, Marcel stands up to officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation. A political fairy tale that exists somewhere between the reality of contemporary France and the classic cinema of Jean-Pierre Melville and Marcel Carné, Le Havre is a charming, deadpan delight. With gorgeous cinematography by Timo Salminen. (93 mins., digital presentation)
Featured in the January 2012 series New Worlds: Immigration on Film, this film is also presented as part of the ongoing Wex at Gateway program at South Campus Gateway’s Gateway Film Center. Visit gatewayfilmcenter.com for showtimes.
The New Worlds: Immigration on Film series explores the contemporary immigrant experience and is presented in conjunction with Ohio State’s year-long "Conversation on Immigration" that begins the Conversations on Morality, Politics, and Society (COMPAS) initiative launched by the university’s Center for Ethics and Human Values.
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