Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Intentionally or unintentionally molded after the eccentric deadpan comedies of Jim Jarmusch and Aki Kaurismaki, the quirky slice-of-life feature El Cantor unfolds amid the day-to-day of western European Jews. William (Luis Rego), a dentist living in the French port city of Le Havre, receives a telegram from his long-absent cousin, Clovis (Lou Castel), indicating that the latter will soon be docking and needs a place to reside. He's an itinerant Jew without a permanent home, nicknamed "The Cantor" by his parents for his obsession with imbibing as much Yiddish as possible during childhood. As a youngster, Clovis constantly played the prankster by teasing William and others, yet remained affable to generally everyone (including William). Sensing a rekindled closeness, William - to the chagrin of his wife Elizabeth (Francoise Michaud), who is still grieving from the recent loss of her father - obliges Clovis's request. This prompts Elizabeth to do everything in her power to persuade Clovis to leave, shy of physically throwing him out the door. Clovis remains, however, and soon accompanies William on an eventful trip into the city that neither will ever forget. Director Joseph Morder segments his film into distinct chapters with fade-outs in-between.
cantor, cousin, France, port, reunion, wanderer