Written December 05, 2011
I don't want to spoil anything, but I've got to quibble with the descriptions that say "Marcel stands up to officials...." Yes, "Le Harve" tells a story like "The Visitor" or "Frozen River" in which immigration officials are part of the plot, but one of the pleasing complications in "Le Harve" is that the officials are not predictable. I liked Inspector Monet (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) who distinguishes between "crimes" and "immigration."
Were it not for Monet ordering a 2005 vintage of wine (the people in this port town love their wine & cigarettes), I would've thought the movie was set in the 70s. The town of Le Harve looks as if it comes from another time. The prevailing values of human rights also seem to come from a different time. Marcel, a bohemian philosopher and shoeshine, does his work the way Jesus washed feet.
While "Le Harve" does not get at the root neo-colonial problems, it asks what is human and transcends language, totally justifying a U.S. release.
Written November 11, 2011