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Twentynine Palms (2003)

Unrated | | Drama | 17 September 2003 (France)
1:16 | Trailer
David, an independent photographer, and Katia, an unemployed woman, leave Los Angeles, en route to the southern California desert, where they search a natural set to use as a backdrop for a... See full summary »


Bruno Dumont


Bruno Dumont
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Yekaterina Golubeva ... Katia (as Katia Golubeva)
David Wissak David Wissak ... David


David, an independent photographer, and Katia, an unemployed woman, leave Los Angeles, en route to the southern California desert, where they search a natural set to use as a backdrop for a magazine photo shoot. They find a motel in the town of Twentynine Palms and spend their days in their sport-utility vehicle, discovering the Joshua Tree Desert, and losing themselves on nameless roads and trails. Frantically making love all the time and almost everywhere, they regularly fight, then kiss and make up, with little else going on in their empty relationship and quite ordinary daily life--until something horrible and hideous brutally puts an end to their trip. Written by anonymous

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Unrated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


Yekaterina Golubeva who played Katia, died August 14, 2011 in Paris, France. The cause was never made public. See more »


Akata Sun Dunchi
Written by Takashi Hirayasu
Performed by Takashi Hirayasu and Bob Brozman
See more »

User Reviews

17 September 2006 | by cultfilmdistributionSee all my reviews

This is the first time I've ever posted a comment on IMDb. I felt so angry after watching this film that I couldn't help myself.

I should qualify my comments by first saying that I watch a lot of films - cult films, horror films, art house, American, Japanese, I watch lots of everything and I also programme films for film festivals. So this isn't a "I don't understand art cinema and only like Hollywood" kind of response. In fact, I generally like art-house cinema and older films much more than mainstream cinema.

29 Palms, however, is utter drivel. Halfway through the film I was starting to wonder whether Dumont was making a satirical comment on these flaky, pretentious and pointless characters. How else to explain that he could have felt that there could be any point in watching these incredibly boring characters. The film is nigh on unwatchable because the characters are such total dullards and nothing happens. There are times when inaction can be fascinating - Monte Hellman has a pretty good stab at a film about nothing happening in Two Lane Black Top. But I finally got the sense that Dumont felt that he was communicating some kind of grand human struggle with his characters. He isn't. He's just simply filming two stupid people playing stupid characters who act like children.

When the action does kick in, after an hour and half of utter boredom, it is totally unsatisfactory. You get the sense that Dumont has no respect for horror films. The first hour and a half is perhaps supposed to elevate the horror elements into something sublime. But this isn't a subversion of horror clichés, it's an obliterative film that takes all of the satisfaction out of the horror elements. There is a vast problem at the moment in that directors don't see the potential in genre films. Horror films these days are generally dumb or incredibly pretentious deconstructions of the genre.

The problem with 29 Palms lies in the fact that without the action of the last half hour there would be no film. But because the first three quarters of the film is so unengaging the last quarter seems utterly pointless anyway. There is no build-up of tension towards the climax, no atmosphere, just bad performances. And the climax is so obtuse that it is mostly amusing. Many great films have covered the themes of 29 Palms. Dumont's film keeps its themes out of focus in an attempt to make grand statements. Ultimately it is says absolutely nothing about anything.

After watching the extras on the disc it does indeed turn out that Dumont thinks that these characters are somehow fascinating. The main actor talks about his performance as if he invented acting. Dumont speaks as if actors have no understanding of the process that they go through. The 'Making Of' Documentary plays like Spinal Tap.

This is a grossly misguided film by a pretentious and misguided director. People will read deep meanings into it but really this is dreadful film-making of the highest order. Absolute drivel, there's no doubt about it.

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French | English | Russian

Release Date:

17 September 2003 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Twentynine Palms See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,870, 11 April 2004

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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