by | Jan 2, 2022 | Films


L E   H A V R E

~ Exclusive Cincinnati Screening ~

Thursday April 7, 7:00 & Saturday April 9, 3:30

$10 adv, $15 door, “Le Havre”
$16 adv, $24 door, double-feature with “France”
Proof of vaccination required for admission


LE HAVRE is entertaining, thought provoking and multi-dimensional — a compassionate, funny and heart-warming film, filled with ironies and random hilarities, about the importance of being kind and having the guts to do what is right.

A touching story about everyday working people, it is an homage to French culture and French cinema. Employing a low-key comedic style, it is also about community and responsibility and how we regard and react to the changes wrought by immigration.

The film offers excellent chemistry between a veteran French actor and a young Senegalese newcomer as the lead protagonists, a Finnish gem of an actress as the stoic wife, an enigmatic police detective, “Little Bob” a real-life musician known as the “Elvis of Le Havre,” a community full of colorful offbeat characters, and the little dog Laika as a scene stealer.

Well-written with authentic, down-to-earth characters using deadpan delivery to create a soulful tale, LE HAVRE won the Fipresci Prize at Cannes for Best Film, received a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury at Cannes, took top honors at the Chicago and Munich festivals, and was an official selection at the Toronto, New York and Locarno festivals.

By Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki, LE HAVRE was shot in France with a French-speaking cast, produced by a triumvirate of Finnish, French and German companies and was Finland’s official entry for an Oscar as best foreign film. Film length is 93 minutes, in French with English subs; total run time with intro and post-film discussion is approximately 133 minutes.

Learn more in the sections below:

  • Event Details in “What, Where, When …”
  • Awards & Nominations in “Accolades”
  • Critical Opinions in “Reviews”
  • Speaker Bios in “Discussion Leaders”
  • Contrasting views in “The French Republic, Then & Now”
  • CWC Patron Discount in “Drinks & Dining”

Director Aki Kaurismaki, Finland/France/Germany, 2011, 93min, NR (PG), in French with English subtitles.

☀ THE GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Google Map  …  Garfield Parking Options
Proof of full vaccination with booster is required for in-theatre admission, with masking, reduced capacity and distancing practiced in the venue.

Thursday April 7, 7:00 & Saturday April 9, 3:30
Also available as a same-day Saturday double-feature with France.

Opening April 7.

In-theatre single tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door (if not sold out in advance).
In-theatre double-feature tickets are $16 in advance, $24 at the door:
—  Le Havre 3:30 pm + France 7 pm

Virtual Cinema single tickets are $15.
Virtual Cinema double-feature tickets are $24.
— Watch separately, or together, in any order.


All tickets are available online via the Tix Button (top of this web page), and by phone at (859) 957-3456.

The Garfield is ADA accessible. ADA details and Covid-19 info can be found on the CWC Policies Page.

Purchase of a ticket confirms acceptance by the purchaser that the presenter/host and their staff will not be liable for any loss, damage, action, claim, cost or expenses which may arise in the consequence of attendance at this event.
Purchaser declares that they will not attend unless in good health on the day of the event. Further, purchaser understands it is impossible to guarantee that they will not be exposed to Covid-19 and will attend at their own risk.


Festival Awards & Nominations

Cannes Film Festival
2011, Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Best Film (in competition)
2011, Winner, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki
2011, Nominee, Palm d’Or, Best Film Aki Kaurismaki

Chicago International Film Festival
2011, Winner, Gold Hugo, Best Feature Film

Munich Film Festival
2011, Winner, Arri-Zeiss-Award, Best International Film

César Awards, France
2012, Nominated, César, Best Director (Meilleur réalisateur)
2012, Nominated, César, Best Film (Meilleur film)
2012, Nominated, César, Best Production Design (Meilleurs décors)

European Film Awards
2011, Nominated, European Film Award, Best Film
2011, Nominated, European Film Award, Best Actor
2011, Nominated, European Film Award, Best Director
2011, Nominated, European Film Award, Best Screenwriter

National Board of Review, USA
2011, Winner, NBR Award, Top Five Foreign Language Films

National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA
2012, 3rd place, NSFC Award, Best Foreign Language Film

Prix Louis Delluc
2011, Winner, Prix Louis Delluc Best Film

Satellite Awards
2011, Nominated, Satellite Award, Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language Film

Toronto Film Critics Association Awards
2011, Nominated, TFCA Award, Best Foreign-Language Film

Image Awards
2012, Nominated, Image Award, Outstanding Foreign Motion Picture

Jussi Awards (Finland)
2012, Winner, Jussi, Best Cinematography (Paras kuvaus)
2012, Winner, Jussi, Best Direction (Paras ohjaus)
2012, Winner, Jussi, Best Editing (Paras leikkaus)
2012, Winner, Jussi, Best Film (Paras elokuva)
2012, Winner, Jussi, Best Script (Paras kasikirjoitus)
2012, Winner, Jussi, Best Supporting Actress (Paras naissivuosa)
2012, Nominated, Jussi, Best Art Direction (Paras lavastus)
2012, Nominated, Jussi, Best Costume Design (Paras pukusuunnittelu)
2012, Nominated, Jussi, Best Supporting Actor (Paras miessivuosa)

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards
2012, Nominated, Critics Choice Award, Best Foreign Language Film

Chlotrudis Awards
2012, Nominated, Chlotrudis Award, Best Supporting Actor


LE HAVRE offers much to enjoy and think about, as these opinions illustrate:

“Perfection in cinema … brilliantly conceived … If you see only one film this month, make it Le Havre.
    ~ Jennifer Merin, Alliance of Women Film Journalists   Read the complete review

“Le Havre most richly deserves to be seen. It is an exceptional piece of film making … a true joy to watch … a fascinating blend of humanity, heartbreak, and humor. One of the most family-friendly foreign films I’ve seen in ages.”
   ~ Larry Thomas, WVXU Cincinnati

“Recommended!  Eloquent use of color, impeccably stylized – Kaurismaki’s warmest, most engaging film.”
    ~ Mark Jenkins, National Public Radio Read the complete review

“Le Havre has won many festivals, including Chicago 2011, comes from a Finnish auteur, yet let me suggest that smart children would especially like it. There is nothing cynical or cheap about it, it tells a good story with clear eyes and a level gaze, and it just plain makes you feel good.”
    ~ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times   Read the complete review

“Exquisite! One of the most enjoyable pictures of the year. …this marvelous cast of characters, the exquisite comic timing, the peculiar cinematic tone and Marcel’s adorable dog named Laika … become something bigger than the movies, something as impossible and ridiculous as human goodness in a terrible world.”
    ~ Andrew O’Hehir, Salon   Read the complete review

“Figuring that we already know something about how harsh life can be, Kaurismaki reminds us of its modest charms and fleeting beauties, and of how easy it is, in the face of cruelty, to behave decently. 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, The New York Times  Read the complete review

“One of the ten most spiritually literate foreign language films of 2011. Kaurismaki calls Le Havre an ‘unrealistic film.’ Sadly, he’s probably right. It is unrealistic in this day and age to focus on the poor and the elderly, to lift up the basic goodness of people, to criticize the inhumane treatment of illegal immigrants, and to show how we are all connected with each other in ways we have never considered before. Le Havre has it all – humor, sadness, health and illness, friendship and community, and doing the right thing in a world that is going a little mad with hatred for the ‘other’.”
   ~ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Practice    Read the complete review

“Kaurismaki warms the heart.  What could be more pleasing (or quietly instructive) in these wretched times than a fantasy in which people behave decently, going the extra mile for someone in need of help? Without resorting to emotional blackmail, Kaurismaki warms the heart. His movie encourages us to respond to kindness.”
   ~ Robert Denerstein, Movie Habit   Read the complete review

Rotten Tomatoes 99% Fresh. 97 reviews, 5,000+ viewer ratings.
Pull Quotes, top critical reviewers


John AlbertiJohn Alberti
(Saturday April 9, Le Havre and France)

Dr. John Alberti has taught at Northern Kentucky University for roughly three decades, with focus on the relationship between American literature and popular culture as evidenced in cinema, television and music.

At Northern Kentucky University, he is currently Chair of the English Department and Director of the Cinema Studies Program, and has been instrumental in bringing the Festival of New French Films to campus in recent years.

John is a graduate of the University of Southern California (BA, English, 1981) and UCLA (MA, English 1984 and Ph.D., English, 1989). He recently authored Screen Ages: A Survey of American Cinema, and his current projects include work on gender in American cinema and television; writing in the digital age; and the movie adaptations of the Harry Potter series.


Eric VespierreEric Vespierre
(Saturday April 9, France)

Born and raised in Paris, France, Eric Vespierre is currently president of the Alliance Française de Cincinnati. In his professional career as a software architect, Eric has lived in Belgium, Switzerland and the United States, and worked in seven countries focusing on the needs of top-tier broadcasters and news publishers.

Over his three decades of working with News Cycle Solutions, Atex Global Media and Unisys, Eric’s clients included Folha de Sao Paolo in Brazil, El Tiempo in Colombia, Der Frankfurter Rundschau in Germany, the Straight Times in Singapore, CBC and The Sports Network in Canada, and Le Réseau des Sports in Quebec.

Eric relates that his experience has led to admiration of quality journalism, considering it one of the pillars and core values of a true democracy. He has an equal love for cinema – particularly international and independent films.


Barbara DickersonBarbara Dickerson
(Saturday April 9, Le Havre)

Barbara retired after a 25+ year career working in international development, 17 years of which she worked as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development. She worked on a broad array of development programs including maternal/child health, democracy and governance, food security, environment, agriculture, and water/sanitation. Her experience in African countries included Togo, Ghana, Kenya, Benin, Madagascar, Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Barbara is a board member of the Cincinnati Alliance Française where she moderates a weekly French conversation group. She has an MA in European Studies/International Economics from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; a certificate in European Studies from the University of the Saarland, Germany; and a BA in French and German from Ohio State University.


Tim Swallow
(All screenings, April 7, 8 & 9)

Timothy SwallowTim operates The Garfield Theatre and is a founder and president of Cincinnati World Cinema, with a 20-year history of film programming and presentation, including world premieres and festivals. Prior to CWC, he spent 20 years as a live events producer, focusing on music, theatre and the arts.

His experience includes management, marketing, finance, IT and event production. Specializing in short film and documentaries, Tim’s passion, and CWC’s mission, is building a film community to experience high-quality international, independent and short-form cinema not otherwise available in this market.


Pairing these films allows us to examine and contrast the styles of two esteemed directors and their portrayals of the people and culture of France, as well as global issues of the day.

In Le Havre, director Aki Kaurismaki provides a warmly romantic treatment of working class people, their environment and their esprit de corps. In France, director Bruno Dumont gives us a stark, more critical view of journalism and the lives of the celebrity elite in media and government.

Both films feature comedic elements and dramatic tension. The directors have stationed their protagonists at opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum. And, both films depict central characters dealing with personal crises and humanistic choices — with divergent outcomes.

Alliance Française de Cincinnati
Alliance Francaise CincinnatiAlliance Française de Cincinnati

Founded in 1901 by French Consul Auguste Fredin in Cincinnati, the AF Cincinnati chapter was one of the first Alliances Françaises in the United States. It is an independent chapter of a worldwide organization of founded in Paris in 1882, by Jules Verne, Louis Pasteur, and others. There are over 800 chapters in more than 130 countries, with 100 chapters In the United States alone, totaling over 30,000 members.

AF Cincinnati has been the primary French cultural institution in Cincinnati for 120 years. As a membership organization with an all-volunteer board, AF Cincinnati has currently has 120 members and 130 French language students – a majority are American with students from over 15 nationalities.

An active, multi-faceted organization, AF Cincinnati members share a passion for French language and culture, manifesting in year-round events, conversation groups, French resources and language classes for adults, young people, business and one-on-one private lessons.

Learn more about AF Cincinnati

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It couldn’t be easier – across the street from the Garfield Theatre, you’ll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees, sides and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks.

For CWC patrons, general manager Michaele Kadivnik offers a 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol; menu is on the website. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially if you are dining between a CWC double feature. You should present your online confirmation or ticket from the event, and let your server know if there are time constraints. The discount is valid only for the date of ticket.

HOURS: MON-TUE, closed; WED-THS, 4-10 pm; FRI-SAT, 4-12 am; SUN, 4-10 pm. The kitchen closes one hour before the restaurant, every night. Hours and menu subject to change – check the website before booking. RESERVATIONS REQUESTED: 513-954-8974 or

SAFETY PROTOCOLS, from Butcher & Barrel management:
“ALL GUESTS are required to wear face masks when they arrive, and while in any common spaces. In compliance with the most recent government guidelines, we cannot allow guests to wait for a table in common areas and reservations are accepted for groups of UP TO 10 guests ONLY.”

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