HIC is a not-for-profit community film club organised and run by Haringey residents. It’s usually held on the last Thursday of the month at Park View School (formerly West Green Learning Centre) on West Green Road. Doors open at 7pm and tickets cost £4 (£3 for low or unwaged). Everyone welcome!
Thursday 23 February 2017 at 7.00pm
Aki Kaurismäki | France/Finland, 2011 | 93 mins | NR | English subs
This typically offbeat and deadpan comic yarn from Finnish director Kaurismäki has a singularly old-fashioned look and charm that makes it seem as if it could be set, or indeed have been made, at any time in the last 50 years. But Le Havre concerns itself with a very contemporary theme: northern Europe’s attitude to the plight of refugees and migrants from the global south.
Aging shoe-shiner Marcel Marx (André Wilms) plies his trade around the streets of the French harbor city of Le Havre as best he can. Here his path crosses with that of Idrissa (Blondin Miguel), a young boy on the run from the authorities since he was discovered in a shipping container with dozens of other illegal immigrants.
Despite his modest means, Marcel undertakes to conceal the boy from the officials doggedly pursuing him for deportation, hoodwinking the marvellously ambivalent police inspector in almost farcical silent-movie style.
Kaurismäki’s droll style may not be for everyone, but it in no way undermines the emotional force of this tale; rather it gives it an ingenuous, Chaplinesque simplicity. A political fairy tale that exists somewhere between the reality of contemporary France and the classic French cinema of the past, Le Havre is a warm-hearted delight that boldly flouts cynicism. Perfect viewing for a cold February evening.
Thursday 30 March 2017 at 7.00pm
I, Daniel Blake
Ken Loach | UK, 2016 | 100 mins | Rated 15 |
“They’ll fuck you around, make it as miserable as possible – that’s the plan.”
Having suffered a heart attack at work, 59-year-old Geordie joiner Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) has been instructed by doctors to rest. For the first time in his life he needs help from the state, yet since he is able to walk 50 metres and “raise either arm as if to put something in your top pocket”, he is deemed ineligible for employment and support allowance. Instead he must apply for jobseeker’s allowance, attend pointless CV workshops and pound the pavements in search of nonexistent jobs that he can’t take anyway.
Meanwhile, single mother-of-two Katie (Hayley Squires) is similarly being given the runaround. Daniel takes her under his wing after she’s rehoused hundreds of miles from her friends and family in London after spending two years in a hostel. Both are doing all they can to make the best of a bleak situation, retaining their hope and dignity in the face of insurmountable odds. Yet both are falling through the cracks of a cruel system that pushes those caught up in its cogs to breaking point.
Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winning film is on one level a polemical indictment of a faceless benefits bureaucracy that strips claimants of their humanity by reducing them to mere numbers. On another, it is a celebration of the decency and kinship of (extra)ordinary people who look out for each other when the state abandons its duty of care. With a brilliantly insightful script from Paul Laverty, I, Daniel Blake is a gut-wrenching tragicomic drama that will stay with you long after leaving the cinema.