(Finland, 2011, 93 min.)
Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, Le Havre is a humanistic ballad that interweaves sarcasm with wit. Written and directed by Aki Kaurismaki, Le Havre’s pastel palate is littered with unexpected bright colors, pineapples, and bowties, all of which provide the ordinary with an eclectic undertone. Marcel Marx (André Wilms) is a shoe shiner in Le Havre, Normandy. He lives day to day striving to make enough money to support him and his wife Arletty (Kati Outinen) who is struck with an illness that may take her life. Feeling inadequate during his typical lunch break, Marcel finds Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) standing in the bay under a dock. Idrissa is one of several illegal immigrants from Gabon, Africa, that were found in a shipping container. Marcel takes in Idrissa and hides him from the Normandy police. During this time, Idrissa helps to mend the despair in Artletty and Marcel’s life through his vigor and strength.