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Le Havre 

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It's not hard to understand why Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki's Le Havre has become a major hit on the international film festival circuit and found a spot on a number of critics' top-10 lists for 2011. The film starts out gloomy — a man is inexplicably shot in a train station, and the wife of the hero, ex-bohemian shoeshine guy Marcel (Andre Wilms), becomes seriously ill. But Le Havre has a few tricks up its sleeve. When a cargo container bound for London mistakenly arrives at the French port city of Le Havre and is found to contain African refugees, a boy escapes and a police manhunt begins. Gloom gradually turns to whimsy, and deadpan humor softens otherwise harsh reality as the warm-hearted and life-affirming Le Havre gears up. At a time when hysteria rules discussion of immigration-related issues, human decency appears a most welcome guest at the table. The New Orleans Film Society (NOFS) and Chalmette Movies present the film. Tickets $8.50, $6.50 NOFS members. — KEN KORMAN

7:30 p.m. Tuesday

Chalmette Movies, 8700 W. Judge Perez Drive, 304-9992; www.chalmettemovies.com

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