MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 12,914 this week

Heading South (2005)
"Vers le sud" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama  |  25 January 2006 (France)
6.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,314 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 33 user | 88 critic | 26 from Metacritic.com

Three female tourists have their eyes opened while visiting the poverty-stricken and dangerous world of 1980s Haiti.

Director:

Writers:

(scenario), (scenario), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Related News

Return to Ithaca | 2014 Tiff Review
| ioncinema
Foxfire – review
| The Guardian - Film News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 10 Jun 2012
 
a list of 36 titles
created 01 Dec 2012
 
a list of 5 titles
created 10 Oct 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 20 Jan 2014
 
a list of 21 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Heading South" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Heading South (2005)

Heading South (2005) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Heading South.
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

On the beaches of Kenya they're known as "Sugar Mamas" -- European women who seek out African boys selling love to earn a living. Teresa, a fifty-year-old Austrian and mother of a daughter ... See full summary »

Director: Ulrich Seidl
Stars: Margarete Tiesel, Peter Kazungu, Inge Maux
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

While shooting a documentary about all kinds of actresses, the director falls for one of them.

Director: Maïwenn
Stars: Jeanne Balibar, Romane Bohringer, Julie Depardieu
Summer Things (2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two couple of friends, one very rich the other almost homeless, decides to go on Holiday. Julie, a single mother, joins them too. Once at seaside, it starts a complicate love cross among ... See full summary »

Director: Michel Blanc
Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Jacques Dutronc, Carole Bouquet
Lemming (2005)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The wife of a young engineer's boss dies.

Director: Dominik Moll
Stars: Laurent Lucas, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Charts the misadventures of expatriates in Rio in their bungled search for both personal pleasures and social justice. Each character reveals a different aspect of the fabled city, from Rio high society to favelas.

Director: Jonathan Nossiter
Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Bill Pullman, Irène Jacob
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A lesbian, an aspiring actor, an aspiring singer, a low-class marriage, a neighborhood community and 2 renowned directors have memorable less-than-24-hour-long experiences while living in/visiting the capital of Cuba.

Directors: Laurent Cantet, Benicio Del Toro, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Vladimir Cruz, Magali Wilson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The final installment in Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy, 'Paradise: Hope' tells the story of overweight thirteen-year-old Melanie and her first love. While her mother travels to Kenya ('... See full summary »

Director: Ulrich Seidl
Stars: Melanie Lenz, Verena Lehbauer, Joseph Lorenz
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Lucia, an children's book author, tells the story of her husband's disappearance. One day on their way to Brazil he just disappears. She goes to the police, gets a ransom note, and makes ... See full summary »

Director: Antonio Serrano
Stars: Cecilia Roth, Carlos Álvarez-Nóvoa, Kuno Becker
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Anna Maria, a single woman in her 50s, devotes her summer vacation to doing missionary work, so that Austria may be brought back to the path of virtue. On her daily pilgrimage through ... See full summary »

Director: Ulrich Seidl
Stars: Maria Hofstätter, Nabil Saleh, Rene Rupnik
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Pierre Courrège
Stars: Pierre Santini, Bruno Solo, Patrick Braoudé
Garpastum (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Garpastum is a Latin word meaning ball game. Set in 1914 in St. Petersburg, the brothers Andrey and Nikolai are passionate about the matches they play on the streets. They hatch a scheme to... See full summary »

Director: Aleksey German
Stars: Evgeniy Pronin, Danila Kozlovsky, Dmitriy Vladimirov
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A disturbed young woman is kept prisoner in a castle by her aunt for her money. The game-keeper, her guardian, tries to rape her but she escapes. In her flight she meets a man also running ... See full summary »

Director: Patrice Chéreau
Stars: Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Cremer, Edwige Feuillère
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ellen
...
Brenda
...
Sue
Ménothy Cesar ...
Legba
Lys Ambroise ...
Albert
Jackenson Pierre Olmo Diaz ...
Eddy
Wilfried Paul ...
Neptune
Anotte Saint Ford ...
Limousine Girl
Marie-Laurence Hérard ...
Airport Woman
Michelet Cassis ...
Charlie
Pierre-Jean Robert ...
Chico
Jean Delinze Salomon ...
Jérémy
Kettline Amy ...
Denise
Daphné Destin ...
Lossita
Guiteau Nestant ...
Frank
Edit

Storyline

Haiti, late 1970's. Sea, sex and sun for Ellen, Brenda and Sue, three North American ladies, on the wrong side of forty or fifty-odd, going through an enchanted interlude. Lonely, forsaken, neglected by men in their native countries, they can indulge here in carnal exultation without shame, thanks to handsome local young men they pay a few dollars. Ellen is a Boston French literature professor, Brenda, an unfulfilled wife from Savannah, Georgia and Sue, a sexually frustrated but good-natured Canadian factory worker. In this second garden of Eden they don't care too much about the neighboring poverty nor about Baby Doc's violent dictatorship. The trouble is that that two of the three women have sights on a single man, Legba. And Legba is beginning to be fed up with being a stud... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 January 2006 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Heading South  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£35,787 (UK) (7 July 2006)

Gross:

$896,923 (USA) (22 November 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Part of the film was to be shot in Haiti but only one week's filming took place because political events prevented the crew from staying longer. The rest of the film was shot in the Dominican Republic, in neighboring Santo Domingo. See more »

Goofs

When Brenda is desperately looking for Legba and she wanders around the village at night, one of the guys she crosses by is wearing a Larry Johnson NBA New York Knicks basketball jacket with number 2. Larry Johnson played for the Knicks in the mid '90s. See more »

Quotes

[recalling her first time with Legba]
Brenda: We were both lying in our bathing suits on a big rock, basking in the sun. His body fascinated me. Long, lithe, muscular, his skin glistened. I couldn't take my eyes off him. And the later it got, the more I was losing my mind. He was, he was lying there beside me, his eyes were shut. I remember every move I made, as if it was yesterday. I edged my hand over and placed it on his chest. Legba opened his eyes and immediately closed them again. That encouraged ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Look (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Searing-- the most complex, controversial movie of the year!
21 October 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I just saw the US premier at the American Museum of Moving Image last night [10/20/05]. Cantet and co. interweave three short stories by Haitian writer Dany Laferriere (not yet translated into English from French as of 10/21/05). Though the scope and themes of the stories differ considerably, "Vers Le Sud" is as shattering and masterful as Cantet's previous feature, "Time Out," and should similarly be talked about for years to come.

Cantet and cinematographer Pierre Milon have shot many incredibly complex emotional exchanges without relying on any obvious dialogue. Their confidence that it would cut together and 'play' so well on screen must be partially due to Cantet's having a co-writer who is also the editor (Robin Campillo). The story is told through subtle reactions, gestures and intonations ala "Time Out," but Vers's dialogue seems both more plentiful and more emotionally transparent.

"Vers" also contains more characters, incidents, and a more complex thematic scope than "Time Out." Where "Time" explored a single character's relation to work, pride, and masculinity, "Vers" explores 3 middle-aged white women's sexual and romantic desire for a teenage Haitian, black male prostitute. Cantet explores the central situation's inherent political, racial, sexual, emotional and age-related issues-- often in the same scene.

In doing so, Cantet / LaFerriere necessarily broach a number of taboo subjects: middle age women being openly sexual on screen, and being sexual with teenagers; women paying male prostitutes; white women with black men; women as one discarded, ignored caste, hooking up with another discarded, ignored caste (3rd world men of color); women giving sexual desire the same primacy in their lives as men traditionally have; the world's richest bedding the world's poorest; the willful blindness of the rich towards the suffering of the poor or foreign; American economic imperialism; the predatory nature of consumerist tourism.

In exploring these issues, Vers provokes a sense of moral/political outrage on par with the very angry, very moving "The Constant Gardener." The tourist women of "Vers" turn a willfully blind eye to the dire political / economic situation that drives vulnerable young men into their beds. To watch these women do this is infuriating; their desire becomes repellent, exploitative.

But at the same moment, we are also made to feel how touchingly human these women's needs are-- for love (Brenda), sex (Ellen) and affection (Sue). We experience their loneliness as achingly poignant, even tragic. During the Q&A, one middle-aged woman in the audience referred to the film as pro-feminist in its emotional honesty, and I agree.

The women's relations with their gigolos appear to be emotional two-way streets, albeit with a much wider lane for the Northerners. The women and young men do share affection; and it isn't hard to understand how the women could fool themselves into believing in the possibility of real love blossoming in these tropical, permissive environs.

But when disagreement or insecurity arises with the gigolos, the women's economic superiority gives them the final word. That the same characters in the same scene can simultaneously evoke nausea and tenderness is a testament to the skills of all involved.

The film feels very French in its tasteful restraint -- the sex is never shown -- and in the way it explores its politically charged themes largely through male/female relationships. The film therefore plays entirely as human drama, and never feels sensationalistic, didactic, or titillating.

I had a few *minor* quibbles with this great film. The performances of actors playing Ellen, Albert and Legba were pitch-perfect. But there were moments in Brenda and Sue's scenes when I felt them 'Acting'-- whether this is attributable to lapses in writing, acting, directing or editing is impossible to know. I enjoyed the monologues, delivered into the camera, but I thought they would have felt less artificial if another character had been written into the rooms with them, for the character to address. I also felt it lasted 1 or 2 scenes longer than necessary in the end.

Some have argued that the film should included more of Legba's perspective, but I disagree. Given the sensitivity of the film as a whole, the nationality of the original short story writer (Haitian), and in conveying Legba's emotions in particular, I'm sure that the storytellers made a conscious decision not to include more of Legba's perspective, and the film's structure is the stronger for it.

In fact, the film could only have been created by a group of artists working at the top of their form. Like "Time Out," there will not be a more complex film than Vers Le Sud this year (and I include my other art-house favorites 2046, Head-On, Last Days, Broken Flowers, Brown Bunny, The New World, and yes, Kung Fu Hustle). Here's hoping Vers gets a proper distribution.


54 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Brilliantly novel, morally bankrupt cspe0888
Where and when was this filmed? willis69
First scene adamjdavey
Have yet to see this film...questions Spencer101F
Menothy Cesar + Lys Ambroise marjoriem
Music J. Harlan
Discuss Heading South (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?