Le Havre

The Mindful Bard
Le Havre

Books, Music, and Film to Wake Up Your Muse and Help You Change the World
Wanda Waterman
Volume 20 Issue 36 2012-09-21

Film: Le Havre (Janus Films 2011)

Writer/Director/Producer: Aki Kaurismäki

Cast: André Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Blondin Miguel

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)

God Smiles on Port City Ghetto Saints

Marcel’s wife, Arletty, is in the hospital to undergo a series of cancer treatments. On his way home Marcel is stopped by the grocer, who just the day before had read him the riot act for not paying his bill. Today the grocer, knowing about his wife, tells Marcel he has some groceries that are going bad. He’d like Marcel to take them off his hands, if he wouldn’t mind. He then proceeds to pull items off the nearby shelves and load up a box with canned goods and dried beans.

It’s the sort of random act of kindness Marcel has come to expect and is just as ready to dole out. When he accidentally meets Idrissa, a boy refugee from sub-Saharan Africa, it never occurs to him to deny the boy’s needs (even though his concern for his wife would certainly give him an excuse to look the other way).

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