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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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
Italian distributor BIM originally removed about 2 minutes of sex footage from the Italian theatrical release in order to avoid a 'not under 18' rating. When the press criticized this self-censorship attempt, the distributor reissued the film in its original, integral form. See more »
It is said that Humanite is not for everyone. And i would surely support that claim since I am a steward in the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and had to get up, about every two minutes to open the door to someone sneaker.
Still, I managed to get quite a clear impression of the film which is in my opinion a superb one. Although many people find themselves puzzled by the characters (virtually everyone in the show i attended came out of the cinema looking almost personally insulted by the film) i think that if you know and love Dostoevsky's books you won't find them so hard to understand. Pharaon is simply Prince Mishkin. He is assulted by the bluntness and cruelness of existence and the crime he tries to solve - but is overwhelmed with humility, love and compassion to the world. While his friend make love in a way that seems almost like a rape he makes love to the world, to the clods of the earth. When he rides his bicycle his upper body seems to be moving as if he was making love. But most of all he feels diligent compassion to the world and it's assaulters. The film shows the violence everywhere. Pharaon sees this violence and with his deep gaze manages to disarm it (with protesters and with Domino). I think that Pharaon is a really great acting performance. Pharaon like Mishkin in Dostoevky's notebooks 'sees not in the faces of people but in their hearts.'. The investigation taking place is like an investigation of the inner self. Of the human soul, of humanity. It's a category against Humanity and Pharaon's who is the categor manages to find compassion to humanity. Its sort of like an 'apocalypse now' in rural france.
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