Pineapple in Le Havre

Sketch of a pineapple from the film Le Havre.

Aki Kaurismaki, the director of the film, has been quoted as saying, "I think the more pessimistic I feel about life, the more optimistic the films should be." Le Havre demonstrates that sentiment perfectly. It's a feel good movie that's strangely pessimistic, working by using an idealized story, characters, and setting in order to show you how terrible the real world is. The ending is ridiculously happy, and brings into sharp focus the falseness of the entire film. It's a fairy tale, complete with heroes, love defeating death, real villains, apparent villains who turn out to be heroes, journeys to unfamiliar places, and beautiful worlds, and like many fairy tales, it's an exhibition of what the world could, should, and what we wish it to, be. Never has a film's happy ending made me feel good and so sad simultaneously in such degrees.

I loved that nearly everyone in the film, besides the young boy, is well past their forties and fifties. After watching so many Hollywood films, I forgot that movies could be about people who weren't rich, young, and beautiful.

It's also very funny. The opening is like watching a Sergio Leone, or Jean-Pierre Melville, scene from the perspective of a couple of bystanders who are more concerned about making enough money to buy food for their evening meal than they are about the action and violence going on around them.

I was going to draw one of the characters in the film, but decided to draw the pineapple that one of them purchases and takes to a bar instead.

My brother wrote about the film as well.  Check it out.

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