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Le Havre (2011)

Not Rated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  8 September 2011 (Germany)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 14,232 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 39 user | 201 critic | 26 from

When an African boy arrives by cargo ship in the port city of Le Havre, an aging shoe shiner takes pity on the child and welcomes him into his home.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
André Wilms ...
Elina Salo ...
Evelyne Didi ...
Quoc Dung Nguyen ...
Chang (as Quoc-Dung Nguyen)
Laïka ...
Laïka - Dog
François Monnié ...
Little Bob ...
Little Bob (as Roberto Piazza)
Le dénonciateur
Vincent Lebodo ...
Umban U'kset ...
Mahamat Saleh
Patrick Bonnel ...
Le directeur du centre de rétention


A dock worker in Le Havre hears a human sound inside one of the containers in port, that container which left Gabon three weeks ago and which was supposed to arrive in London five days after its departure from Gabon, which didn't happen. The Le Havre police and French border guards find a still alive group of illegal African immigrants inside. On the sign from one of his elders, a young teen boy among the illegal immigrants manages to escape, news of which hits the local media. The first friendly face that boy, Idrissa, encounters is that of former artist now aged shoeshine Marcel Marx. Marcel decides to help Idrissa by hiding him in his house, news which slowly trickles through his community of friends - most of whom he associates with at his local bar - and neighbors, most who assist Marcel in this task. Marcel goes to great lengths to find out Idrissa's story, which leads to Marcel's further task of trying to get Idrissa to London, his original end destination. The one neighbor who... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

8 September 2011 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

El puerto  »

Box Office


€3,850,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,363 (USA) (21 October 2011)


$611,709 (USA) (13 April 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The character Marcel Marx, played by Andre Wilms, first appears in La Vie de Bohème (1992). Jean-Pierre Léaud also appears in both films, but as different characters. See more »


Marcel Marx: L'argent circule au crepuscule.
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Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.14 (2011) See more »


Statesboro Blues
Written by Blind Willie McTell
Performed by Blind Willie McTell
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User Reviews

Miracle and sadness in Le Havre
12 November 2011 | by (Jerusalem, Israel) – See all my reviews

Like every fairy-tale, this film by Aki Kaurismaki is unbelievable, but this apparent fake doesn't hide a sad reality behind the good intentions of the simple people that help the illegal immigrant child to arrive finally to London, wherein we couldn't predict what kind of life waits for him. A slow rhythm, (some scenes seem like stills), and a brilliant and strong color that contribute to the atmosphere of unreality, the frustration to the normal expectations of the viewers that are carried to imagine the worst, and receive on the contrary the sudden impact of the best, don't prevent to bring to the conscience the images of the cruel world that surrounds the miracle of solidarity that saves, perhaps momentarily, just one of the hundred persecuted. The bad and the good boys are generally discovered by the camera, which leaves, significantly, in off the figure of the pitiless chief of policy, and introduces in darkness the figure of the denouncer. Le Havre is an optimist movie with a very dubious happy end.

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