Le Havre, the new film from Aki Kaurismäki (The Man Without a Past), takes us into eponymous French city where Marcel Marx, a shoe polisher, tries to save an illegal boy emigrant. The film mixes up different culture stereotypes together (the directer is from Finland). The wine and the baguette are spiced by rock music tradition and are in contact with the left-wing culture references presented not only in the stage design (red flowers, red cloths, red details…) but even in the name of the characters (Marx with his dog Laika). The culture contrasts penetrate all the film and Marx has then his own shoes still dirty and needs someone else to do them up. His job is close to the people but his work is not really welcome in society. The score reminds the early sound-films melodies and its suggestive melodramatic tunes help us to understand the ordinary simple life of the protagonist. Le Havre is a dramatic comedy where the modern meets the old but the spirit of humanism wins.
by Dominik Dušek
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
With André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Finland | France | Germany 2011, 103‘