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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:
l'inspecteur de police Pharaon De Winter
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  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,075 (USA) (16 June 2000)


$113,495 (USA) (22 September 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


French visa # 90719 delivered on 19-10-1999. 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

long, boring, slow french small village life

This two and a half hour long film was shown recently at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) at a 10 PM show. There was a scheduled 1 AM show after that, but wondered if anyone was going to stay awake to see that until 3:30 am. The opening scene is of a man walking in a field, and it lasts four minutes of movie time. It is an ominous sign of what's to come: a good 144 minutes more of pretty much the same. There is a scene of a man and a woman against a wall, standing in the sun. It is repeated 15 times, with very sparse dialogue. Occasionally, these very long slow sequences are interrupted by shocking stills, such as a close up of female genitalia, shown for one full minute of film time (audience crowd laughing in the last 20 seconds, as to say, "what's the message?"). The story resembles Dostoyevsky's novel "The Karamazov brothers", in which a cretin falls in love with a woman of easy morals. In one of the rare instants in which the crowd was laughing (more in desperation to try to justify having been there already a full two hours to see nothing happening) was when the statement by a british tourist that he couldn't see things clearly since the Eurostar train was traveling at 180 miles an hour, was translated by the translator with automatic switch of units of measure from English System to Metric system to "they couldn't see things clearly since the train was traveling at 300 kilometers per hour". What was amazing about this movie is that the quality of cinematography reveals that alot of money has been spent on it. This was no film kitchen 8-mm experiment. It was carefully planned, structured, acted, montaged. Yet, I got so little out of it. Some comments indictated on the excruciating detail, such as the minutae of a dandling key chain on a door just opened. Okay, it was noted, but what was the purpose? Some corageous people in the audience walked away after the first hour. The rest remained out of curiosity: there must be something happening at the end. There never was. And maybe that's what the film is about. All the movies at the theater are action-packed. This one wants to be different. There is nothing happening.

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