International Film Festival

This weekend marked the beginning of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. The festival takes place in theaters around the city and features a different selection of 10 or so films each day from Feb. 16-26. Opportunities like these are a major pro to deciding to study in a major city like Dublin. A friend and I decided to go to a show Sunday night.

It was a movie from Finland in French, called Le Havre. Le Havre is a small coastal town in the upper region of Normandy in France, and where the story takes place. The film paints a lovely picture of a poor shoe shiner, Marcel Marx, and his eccentric group of friends who occupy the small, yet lively, town. Marcel is a loveable troublemaker who spends too much and playfully flirts his way into people’s hearts. His wife, a careful and doting woman, does all she can to make him happy and loves to spoil him. When she falls ill and needs to go to the hospital, a young refugee named Idrissa stumbles into Marcel’s life as he enjoys his lunch by the waterside one afternoon. Marcel ends up taking in the boy and helping him sneak by the police to find his mother in London.

Although I feel that subtitles always cause a certain degree of separation between the story and the English-speaking viewer, I felt very engaged throughout. It was a wonderful film.

Here’s a trailer, if you are interested:

This particular film showed at the Lighthouse Cinema, which is a theater in the Smithfield area of Dublin — just north of the River Liffey. As it turns out, the venue reopened just in time to host this festival. It is a bizarre and fabulously designed building — several stories and full of hardwood and clean white, accented with neon lights and other modern touches. The hip residents of Dublin seemed to have all come out of the woodwork to enjoy the film and socialize in the makeshift bar nestled into a small corner of the bottom floor of the venue, furnished with scattered and mismatched worn couches in all corners and crevices where people could sit and enjoy their 2 for 1 drinks.

It has been far too long since I’ve been to see a movie in theaters, and this festival is a perfect chance to see some great unique pieces that I would never get to know otherwise.

I plan to see a few more before the week is over.

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