André Wilms, Blondin Miguel, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Kati Outinen,
The first film in Kaurismaki’s intended refugee trilogy, Le Havre depicts the intersecting (mis)fortunes of Idrissa (Blondin Miguel), a refugee from Gabon, and Marcel (André Wilms), a shoeshine man in the French port of the title. When a shipping container of migrants is opened by the police, Idrissa flees before being apprehended. Marcel comes across the boy in hiding and takes him in. Although Marcel has his own problems—his beloved wife, Arletty (Kati Outinen), is terminally ill—he works to locate the boy’s mother in hopes of facilitating a reunion. “Le Havre is also a love letter to France, in particular to a half-imaginary, half-vanished realm of proletarian Frenchness incarnated in the films and popular music of the first half of the 20th century” (A. O. Scott, New York Times).