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2,656 Ratings

Le Havre

Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
Finland, France, 2011
Comedy, Drama


A young African refugee, Idrissa, collides with Marcel Marx, a benevolent old shoeshiner living in the French harbor city Le Havre. With unrelenting optimism, Marcel takes a stand against the officials doggedly pursuing the boy for deportation.

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Le Havre Directed by Aki Kaurismäki

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

2011 | 2 wins including: FIPRESCI Prize

2011 | Special Mention: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury

Locarno International Film Festival

2011 | Winner: Best Actress (Swiss Critics Boccalino Award)

I really like how Aki Kaurismäki manages to create in the viewer such a strong sense of warmth and emotional involvement by subtracting the classical elements that one would associate with that expression of feeling. He manages to capture mankind in a brilliant way with just one shot or one gesture that opens an entire backstory of a character.
December 03, 2018
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If the fusion is so expert, so unassuming in its cohesion, that he risks translating his message to more casual viewers, then the inherent power of the filmmaking carries that much more potential to quietly stun those attuned to its utopian underpinnings and universal displays of humanity.
August 02, 2012
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Kaurismäki’s Le Havre is a community, one in which people don’t think twice about helping an immigrant (just as the best of them would have hidden a Jew from the Vichy government years before). And in the coda, both a woman and nature itself are reborn. Sappy? I don’t know. Perhaps instead we should call it “counterfactual utopianism.” Kaurismäki uses cinema to envision a world in which the love of humanity overcomes borders, even the one between life and death.
July 31, 2012
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