Le Havre, 2011

Le Havre (2011) is a comedy-drama feature written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki, starring André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Blondin Miguel, Elina Salo and Jean-Pierre Léaud. The film was produced by Finnish production company Sputnik with international co-producers Pyramide Productions in France and Pandora Films in Germany. Hanna Hemilä is the ‘productrice exécutive’.

It is Kaurismäki’s second French-language film, after La Vie de Bohème from 1992. The film premiered in competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, where it received the FIPRESCI Prize.

In this warmhearted portrait of the French harbor city that gives the film its name, fate throws young African refugee Idrissa (Blondin Miguel) into the path of Marcel Marx (André Wilms), a well-spoken bohemian who works as a shoeshiner. 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.