6.6/10
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38 user 86 critic

Disgrace (2008)

After having an affair with a student, a Cape Town professor moves to the Eastern Cape, where he gets caught up in a mess of post-apartheid politics.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jessica Haines ...
...
Fiona Press ...
Bev Shaw
Antoinette Engel ...
...
Soraya
Antonio Fisher ...
Sidney - Student
Isabella De Villiers ...
Mrs. Cundell - Student
Cindy Mkaza ...
Mrs. Mbeti - Student
Liezel De Kock ...
Student Director
Charles Tertiens ...
David Dennis ...
Mr. Isaacs (as David Denis)
Paula Arundell ...
Dr Farodia Rassool
Anne Looby ...
Rosalind
David Ritchie ...
Manas Mathbane
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Storyline

Cape Town professor David Lurie blatantly refuses to defend himself for an affair with a colored student whom he gave a passing grade for an exam she didn't even attend. Dismissed, he moves to his daughter Lucy's farm, which she runs under most disadvantaged terms, favoring the black locals. Yet rowdies, unprovoked, violently rob and abuse them both. Lucy refuses to fight back, unlike David, who is surprised by his own altruistic potential. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What is a mad heart? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity, some violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

18 June 2009 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Desgracia  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,615 (USA) (20 September 2009)

Gross:

$66,643 (USA) (4 October 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Disgrace' won the Best Narrative Film (The Black Pearl) Award at the Middle East Film Festival 2008. See more »

Goofs

When David confronts Lucy at the impound yard, he pulls her left arm away from the steering wheel. In the next shot, it has returned. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Professor David Lurie: I haven't heard from my daughter.
Soraya: Still living with a woman.
Professor David Lurie: Yes, still a lesbian. Still on the farm. She thinks it's safe there.
Soraya: No where's safe. Too many people with nothing to do but cause trouble. How's work?
Professor David Lurie: They look through me when I speak. Forget my name.
Soraya: There's no respect anymore. Have you missed me?
Professor David Lurie: I miss you all the time.
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Connections

References Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Melanie's Play
Written and performed by Michael Lira
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User Reviews

 
"Disgrace": modern classic about South Africa.
27 August 2010 | by (France) – See all my reviews

"Disgrace" is a modern classic about South Africa. It is thoughtful yet disturbing, rich with emotion but grating, fertile yet ravaging. This is no place for pussy cats. It is exhilaratingly realistic, laced with romantic sentiment and veined by the theme of adamantine loyalty – an excellent movie. It puts the older well-intentioned but unctuous films about South Africa – like the adaptations of "Cry the Beloved Country" – to shame for their naiveté.

"Disgrace" is a story with a hard parable: wolves eat dogs. In spite of the fact that in the film's DVD "bonus" section there so much talk about being "forward looking" and positive; far more than these feel-good qualities is the story's demand for survival, the need to adapt to the environment (regardless of its warmth or gentle, amiable qualities).

On one level "Disgrace" is "Ryan's Daughter" without romance but a hell of a feeling. In terms of actors & characters it's first rate. Malkovich is perfectly cast as the self-indulgent & Byronically self-destructive university professor. Nathalie Becker is ace perfect in tone and body; sexual but not sexy, fertile yet dry. She is the land of South Africa. In opposition & complement is the brilliant black actor Eriq Ebouaney, the power of whose character grows on you like a root of meaning taking hold. His grace & subtlety as an actor in the demanding role he plays gives new depth to the otherwise over-used theme of identity politics.

"Disgrace" is a worthy, worrying film; far more gritty docudrama than bloodless fiction.


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