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Le Havre

Le Havre
Director: Aki Kaurismäki

Suomija, France, Germany, drama, comedy, 2011, 103 min
Marcel Marx, a former bohemian and struggling author, has given up his literary ambitions and relocated to the port city of Le Havre. He leads a simple life based around his wife Arletty, his favourite bar and his not too profitable profession as a shoeshiner. As Arletty suddenly becomes seriously ill and goes to the hospital, Marcel's path crosses that of an underaged illegal immigrant from Africa, who needs Marcel's help to hide from the police. “Le Havre” is a comedydrama which tells the story of a shoeshiner who tries to save an immigrant child in the French port city Le Havre. This French-language film is envisioned to be the first installment in a trilogy about life in port cities. Kaurismaki’s ambition is to make follow-ups set in Spain and Germany, shot in the local languages.
 
Awards:
 
2011 – FIPRESCI Prize for the director Aki Kaurismäki at the Cannes Film Festival (France).
2011 – Arri-Zeiss award for the director Aki Kaurismäki at the Munich Film Festival (Germany).
 
About the director:
 
Thanks to the film director-brothers Aki Kaurismäki (b. 1957) and Mika Kaurismäki (b. 1955), Finnish cinema has become known and appreciated all over the world, but before entering the film industry they had to try a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic. After studying Media Studies at the University of Tampere, Aki Kaurismäki started his career as a co-director on his elder brother Mika’s films. His debut as an independent director was “Crime and Punishment” (1983), F. Dostoyevsky’s famous crime story set in modern-day Helsinki. His style has been influenced by the French directors Jean-Pierre Melville and Robert Bresson, as he relies on low-key acting and simple cinematic storytelling to get his message across. Both Aki and Mika are prolific film-makers and together have been responsible for one-fifth of the total output of the Finnish film industry since the early 1980s, though Aki's work has been more favoured abroad. His films are very short, eccentric parodies of various genres (road movies, film noir, rock musicals), populated by lugubrious hard-drinking Finns and set to eclectic soundtracks, typically based around '50s.
Section: Wide Angle

Screenplay: Aki Kaurismäki

Dir. of Photography: Timo Salminen

Cast: André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Blondin Miguel, Elina Salo, Evelyne Didi, Quoc-Dung Nguyen