6.9/10
3,447
61 user 44 critic

L'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.

Director:

Bruno Dumont

Writer:

Bruno Dumont

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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emmanuel Schotté ... l'inspecteur de police Pharaon De Winter
Séverine Caneele ... Domino
Philippe Tullier Philippe Tullier ... Joseph
Ghislain Ghesquère Ghislain Ghesquère ... Le commissaire de police
Darius Darius ... L'infirmier (as Daniel Leroux)
Daniel Petillon Daniel Petillon ... Jean - un policier
Robert Bunzi Robert Bunzi ... Le policier anglais
Dominique Pruvost Dominique Pruvost ... L'ouvrier virulent
Jean-Luc Dumont Jean-Luc Dumont ... Le CRS
Diane Gray Diane Gray ... La voyageuse anglaise
Paul Gray Paul Gray ... Le voyageur anglais
Sophie Vercamer Sophie Vercamer ... Une ouvrière
Murielle Houche Murielle Houche ... Une ouvrière
Pascaline Guyot Pascaline Guyot ... Une ouvrière
Liliane Facq Liliane Facq ... Une ouvrière
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

27 October 1999 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Humanité See more »

Filming Locations:

Bailleul, Nord, France

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,075, 18 June 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$113,495, 24 September 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(The DVD of this film runs for *exactly* 2 hours, 21 minutes, and 30 seconds.)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 90719 delivered on 19-10-1999. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
l'inspecteur de police Pharaon De Winter: I'm coming.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »


Soundtracks

Le Vertigo, Rondeau. Modérément
from "Pièce de Clavecin"
Music by Pancrace Royer
Performed by William Christie
Courtesy of harmonia mundi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Filling in the void
12 February 2001 | by iaidoSee all my reviews

On the surface, L'Humanite is about a detective, Pharaon, dealing with his hyper sensitive nature to a rape/murder of a young girl he is investigating, but especially for his unrequited love to his neighbor, Domino. Pharoan is like a wounded, or fearful child, dumpy, perpetually slumped over, soft spoken, watery eyed, whereas Domino is considerably working class, modern, damaged, but not nearly as fearful, at least, not as openly sensitive; unlike Pharaon, she doesn't wear her fear like bad suit. But, that is just the surface of the characters and story, the actual definition of these key elements is left up to the viewer. The plot and the characters are fragments. Instead of miring itself in details, long monologues, heavy dialogue in general, or normal cinematic conventions, the film is purposefully left incomplete in many areas. Thus, the viewer is left to speculate how these gaps should be filled, left to ponder the scraps given to them.

For example, we are told Pharaon's girlfriend and child left him, but not why. Is Pharaon's sensitivity a product of his being abandoned by this woman, or was his sensitivity the cause of her leaving? Domino is clearly upset when Pharaon mentions the case of the rape/murder of the young girl, but is her reaction just empathy, or something deeper? For every detail we are given, there are often unresolved questions that are never conveniently answered.

It somewhat reminds me of a Shohei Imamrua film, like Vengeance is Mine or The Eel, in that the story unfolds through rather mundane scenes, but these scenes end up speaking volumes over the course of the film. You could also say it is a bit like Antonioni as well, as the ordinary, often bright, landscape often contributes just as much emotion as the characters. Basically, Brumo Dumont, like Imamura or Antonioni, eschews normal narrative conventions to tell a story. He lets the viewer fill in the gaps, and much of the film will always remain an engaging mystery.


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