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Humanité (1999)

L'humanité (original title)
When an 11-year-old girl is brutally raped and murdered in a quiet French village, a police detective who has forgotten how to feel emotions--because of the death of his own family in some kind of accident--investigates the crime, which turns out to ask more questions than it answers.



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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Philippe Tullier ...
Ghislain Ghesquère ...
Le commissaire de police
Darius ...
L'infirmier (as Daniel Leroux)
Daniel Petillon ...
Jean - un policier
Robert Bunzi ...
Le policier anglais
Dominique Pruvost ...
L'ouvrier virulent
Jean-Luc Dumont ...
Diane Gray ...
La voyageuse anglaise
Paul Gray ...
Le voyageur anglais
Sophie Vercamer ...
Une ouvrière
Murielle Houche ...
Une ouvrière
Pascaline Guyot ...
Une ouvrière
Liliane Facq ...
Une ouvrière


In a town near Lille, melancholy police superintendent Pharaon De Winter lives with his mother. An 11-year-old girl has been raped and murdered. Over the next week, De Winter investigates and grieves, his face nearly expressionless. He bikes, he gardens. He accompanies his neighbors, Joseph and Domino, to dinner and to the seaside; he even observes them in vigorous if not rough coitus. For Domino, sex seems her way of connecting. Does she fancy Pharaon? A plowed field, the sea, Pharaon's flowers, the pudenda of Domino and of the ravaged girl - this mix of images of beauty, evil, and possibility assaults Pharaon as he tries to do his job and hold on to his humanity. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 October 1999 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Humanité  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,075, 18 June 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$113,495, 24 September 2000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(The DVD of this film runs for *exactly* 2 hours, 21 minutes, and 30 seconds.)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This marks as Emmanuel Schotté's only film performance. See more »


[first lines]
l'inspecteur de police Pharaon De Winter: I'm coming.
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Le Vertigo, Rondeau. Modérément
from "Pièce de Clavecin"
Music by Pancrace Royer
Performed by William Christie
Courtesy of harmonia mundi
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User Reviews

A fascinating catholic horror film
2 December 1999 | by See all my reviews

L'Humanité is undoubtedly the best French movie I've seen this year. It's somewhere between Robert Bresson and David Lynch, which is quite uncommon. This is a suspense movie, but the nature of the suspense is metaphysical. The spectator, like the hero (Pharaon de Winter), keeps on following false leads as he tries to discover WHO the murderer could be. He even suspects Pharaon himself to be guilty (which, in a way, is true, if we admit we're all guilty). The characters all seem to be on the thin border line between humanity and animality. Pharaon needs a physical contact with human beings and animal alike; most of the time, men and women are filmed as if they were beasts and vice versa. But the film bears no contempt for anyone. It's not realistic but, on the other hand, it has nothing in common with 99% of the fictions we go and see usually. There is something about empathy in L'Humanité that I had never felt in cinema before. If I had to connect it with a genre, it would definitely be an "ethological genre movie"… The screenplay is brilliant, the actors are so far away from what we expect from actors that they seem to come from another planet until we understand it's actually ours. Here is the riddle of L'Humanité: we live down here among strangers, and the nearer other people seem to be, the farther they actually are. L'Humanité is not made to entertain. If you're not looking for something else in films, don't waste your time, it has nothing in common with The End of Days.

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