There is a certain road that I walk everyday. On this road is a homeless woman selling The Big Issue. What should I do?

Le Havre is a film directed by Aki Kaurismaki about an aging shoe shiner who takes in an African boy who has come over to France in a cargo ship. Kaurismaki, who also wrote the film, tackles in a simple and thought-provoking story what happens when a sad statistic becomes a personal reality. In this case, the fact is thousands of immigrants a year land in port cities such as le Havre in search of a better life.

Beautiful cinematography highlights the touching acting by André Wilms and Blondin Miguel in his film debut as the immigrant. Le Havre was rightly commended with the FIPRESCI Prize when it debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. Kaurismaki has declared this will be the first in a trilogy about life in port cities. It is a long wait before we get to see what he uncovers next.

Until then, I am determined to somehow get Monica a better job or at least get to know her.

Le Havre is on limited release in the UK.

 

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