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Humanité (1999) More at IMDbPro »L'humanité (original title)


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Bruno Dumont (writer)
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Release Date:
10 September 1999 (Norway) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
(16 articles)
User Reviews:
An involving and disturbing film See more (61 total) »


  (in credits order)
Emmanuel Schotté ... Pharaon De Winter
Séverine Caneele ... Domino
Philippe Tullier ... Joseph
Ghislain Ghesquère ... Police Chief
Ginette Allegre ... Eliane
Darius ... Nurse (as Daniel Leroux)
Arnaud Brejon de la Lavergnee ... Conservationist
Daniel Petillon ... Jean, the cop
Robert Bunzi ... English cop
Dominique Pruvost ... Angry worker
Jean-Luc Dumont ... CRS
Diane Gray ... British traveller
Paul Gray ... British traveller
Sophie Vercamer ... Worker
Murielle Houche ... Worker
Pascaline Guyot ... Worker
Liliane Facq ... Worker
Myriam Dehaine ... Worker
Jean Beuique ... The guide
Bernard Catrycke ... Nadege's father
Marthe Vandenberg ... Grandmother
Amanda Goemaere ... Child
Honorine Douche ... Child
Marie-Thérèse Cadet ... Parent
Denis Claerebout ... Parent
Suzanne Berteloot ... Nurse
Sylvie Perel ... Domino's friend
Malik Haquem ... The dealer
Alain Beaufrome ... Pharaon's colleague
Pierre-Olivier Thery ... Pharaon's colleague
Frédéric Engelaere ... Young worker
Françoise Blavoet ... Visitor to fort
Chantal Desmettre ... Visitor to fort
Noella Froigne ... Visitor to fort
Jocelyne Vasseur ... Visitor to fort
Annie Hennon ... Visitor to fort
Pierre Raes ... Visitor to fort
Pierre Harrisson ... Man in pyjamas
Mathieu Daussy ... Student at Brasserie
Gaelle Coppin ... Student at Brasserie
Marion Robyn ... Student at Brasserie
Laurent Pecqueur ... Student at Brasserie
Sebastion Zanetti ... Student at Brasserie
Cédric Delplace ... Student at Brasserie
Julie Legras ... Student at Brasserie
Gregory Duboz ... Student at Brasserie
Cedric Camberlyn ... Student at Brasserie
Sylvain Backerlandt ... Student at Brasserie
Marie-Hélène Aernout ... Aline
Lucien Hallynck ... Man wearing beret
Andre Geloen ... Gardner
Jean-Francois Carpenter ... Fisherman
Theophile Boldin ... Bather
Jerome Polet ... Bather
Sebastion Muselet ... Bather
Gery Laforce ... Bus driver
Franck Lesagne ... Neighbour
Micheline Cerouter ... Neighbour
Jacky Hourdouille ... Neighbour
Marie-Thérèse François ... Neighbour
Leslie Benault ... Neighbour
Edwige Benault ... Neighbour
Heidelore Kramer ... Passer-by
Nicole Willier ... Passer-by

Sylvie Verheyde ... Passer-by
Pierre Verheyde ... Passer-by
Famille Janssens ... Passer-by
Regis Mallard ... Passer-by
Monique Laurent ... Passer-by
Philippe Millet ... Passer-by
Patrice Souchet ... Passer-by
Florent Souchet ... Passer-by
Gregory Ryckewaert ... Museum technician
Hamid Bouderja ... Museum technician
Daniel Braems ... Worker
Eric Bailleul ... Worker
Guy Valpoet ... Worker
Bernard Vanhaecke ... Worker
Joel Boulinguez ... Worker
J.J. Leurette ... Worker
Michel Vanmeenen ... Worker
Regis Larridon ... Worker
Dominique Deroo ... Worker
Stephanie Wyts ... Barmaid
Philippe Durlez ... Customer
Ivanne Durlez ... Customer
Alexis Durlez ... Customer
Noel Debaene ... Police
Jean Rene Delaval ... Police
Christophe Muys ... Police
Ludovic Cousin ... Police
Jacques Gillot ... Police
Bernard Marescan ... Police
Sylvain Boulanger ... Police
Jean Pierre Doise ... Police
Gilles Lelievre ... Police
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Directed by
Bruno Dumont 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Bruno Dumont  writer

Produced by
Rachid Bouchareb .... producer
Jean Bréhat .... producer
Original Music by
Richard Cuvillier 
Cinematography by
Yves Cape 
Film Editing by
Guy Lecorne 
Casting by
Claude Debonnet 
Bruno Dumont 
Production Design by
Marc-Philippe Guerig 
Art Direction by
Marc-Philippe Guerig 
Costume Design by
Nathalie Raoul 
Makeup Department
Jacques-Olivier Molon .... special makeup effects artist (dummy supply)
Ferouz Zaafour .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Muriel Merlin .... unit manager
Nicolas Picard .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Xavier Christiaens .... assistant director
Claude Debonnet .... assistant director
Rima Samman .... trainee assistant director
Yann Olivier Wicht .... assistant director
Art Department
Serge Berkenbaum .... property master
Sound Department
Pascal Jasmes .... boom operator
Jean-Pierre Laforce .... sound
Pierre Mertens .... sound
Mathilde Muyard .... sound editor
Philippe Penot .... foley artist
Visual Effects by
Ronan Broudin .... digital compositor
Thierry Saelens .... stunts
Daniel Vérité .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Roger Arpajou .... still photographer
Vincent Blasco .... key grip
Thierry Debove .... gaffer
Pascal Doyen .... electrician
Elin Kirschfink .... second assistant camera (as Ellin Kirschfink)
Jacques Monge .... Steadicam operator
François Perrault-Alix .... grip
Etienne Saldés .... key grip
Marie Sorribas .... first assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Isabelle Sanchez .... costumer
Editorial Department
Anja Lüdcke .... assistant editor
Music Department
William Christie .... musician: clavecin for Royer's "Pièce de Clavecin"
Other crew
Virginie Barbay .... script supervisor
Caroline Dieusaert .... production secretary
Delphine Merabet .... production assistant
Vanessa Réveillon .... production secretary

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial Effects
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"L'humanité" - France (original title)
"Humanity" - Europe (English title)
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148 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
An involving and disturbing film, 12 May 2003
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

"The power of cinema lies in the return of man to the body, to the heart, to truth" - Bruno Dumont

In L'Humanite, by Bruno Dumont (La Vie de Jesus), Pharaon de Winter (Emmanuel Schotte) is a Police Superintendent called upon to investigate the murder and rape of an 11-year old girl. Flaunting almost every cinematic convention, the film is not about solving a crime but a 2 1/2-hour poem of mood, time, silence and spirit. Set in northern France in the director's hometown of Bailleul, the characters are unglamorous members of the working class. Dumont devotes long stretches of the film to simply observing Pharaon going about his life: eating an apple, tending his garden, watching a soccer game on television, interacting with his mother, or being a friend to his neighbor Domino (Severine Caneele), a rugged factory worker and her obnoxious bus-driver boyfriend Joseph (Philippe Tullier). He is an unlikely cop, a passive, stoop-shouldered, and empathetic man who would sooner kiss a prisoner on the lips or stroke his neck as browbeat him. Pharaon sees the suffering of the world and wants to hold it in his hands and stroke it. Schotte's performance is so expressive that his best actor award at Cannes was criticized because most people thought he wasn't acting, just being himself.

As the film opens, a man is walking in the distance alone across a grassy hill. Suddenly as the camera moves in for a close-up, he collapses in the mud and just lays there for a while. Is he dead or alive? Did he commit the crime? In the next scene, he is sitting in his car listening to harpsichord music and we discover that he is a policeman talking in a barely audible voice to his superior. The film cuts away to the battered body of an 11-year old girl, her torn and bloody vagina graphically shown as the police gather. Pharaon maintains the same anguished, enigmatic look on his face throughout that makes us uncertain if he is the murderer or the Second Coming of Christ. We know very little about him except that he "lost" his wife and child a few years ago, but it is never made clear whether he lost them or they lost him. Signs of passion or involvement are rare but come with a sudden ferocity, as when he is walking across the crime scene and starts to scream at the top of his lungs, a sound drowned out only by the passing Eurostar train.

L'Humanite is an involving and disturbing film that you cannot feel lukewarm about. It is profoundly moving but often agonizingly slow and virtually unwatchable in some of its graphic details (you may never want to have sex again after watching these mechanical exercises). The climax of the film is as perplexing as the beginning with an ambiguous resolution that I'm not quite sure what to make of. What I do know is that I felt as vitally alive watching this film as I did the first time that I saw Leolo by Jean-Claude Lauzon. L'Humanite is a breath of fresh air on the turgid cinema landscape and Dumont is as honest and challenging a director as I've seen in quite a long time. His film continually forces us to question what we are looking at and, as the title suggests, keeps bringing us closer and closer to the core of what makes us truly human.

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