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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Film - Le Havre - directed by Aki Kaurismäki

Star rating – 6/10

This is quite a slight offbeat film from Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, set amongst the working class people in the French port of the title. And it’s no advert for Le Havre as a place, but it is a heart-warming, and gently political story.  
Marcel (André Wilms) is an elderly shoe shine man who takes pity on a Congolese boy who has come into the country illegally, and managed to escape the authorities. He helps Idrissa (Blondin Miguel), to escape to his mother in London, despite his own wife being very ill. Most of his friends and neighbours pitch in to raise money for the escape, and it is an affectionate demonstration of people who have the least being most generous with what little they do possess.

There is quite an amusing performance by aging rock star ‘Little Bob’, and the characters are all quite touching. It doesn’t set the world alight, not is it meant to I suspect. And in its own way it’s a damning indictment of the way so called civilised nations treat people who are desperately fleeing from poverty and war in their native lands.

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