6.4/10
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35 user 91 critic

Heading South (2005)

Vers le sud (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 25 January 2006 (France)
Three female tourists have their eyes opened while visiting the poverty-stricken and dangerous world of 1980s Haiti.

Director:

Laurent Cantet

Writers:

Laurent Cantet (scenario), Robin Campillo (scenario) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Country:

France | Canada | Belgium

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

25 January 2006 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Heading South See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,810, 9 July 2006

Gross USA:

$896,923, 24 November 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Brenda: [in Legba's ear] For three years, you were all I could think of. I missed you. I missed you so much, it was like an addiction. My whole body ached, my head, my belly. It was just agony, every day, every night. Especially every night.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Look (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Sobo
Traditional
Performed by Ti Koka et Wanga Negès
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Boys in the sand
27 April 2006 | by bob998See all my reviews

Laurent Cantet's new film reminds me a little of those Graham Greene novels about well-meaning Westerners who get mixed up in disastrous situations in third-world countries; think of The Quiet American, Our Man In Havana, or The Comedians, set in Haiti also. For the confused capitalist white men, Cantet substitutes middle-aged randy white women soaking up the sun and Tequila Sunrises outside Port-au-Prince. Thankfully there is very little political theory being spouted by the main characters, although Ellen cannot resist some harsh comments directed at Brenda late in the film.

Charlotte Rampling as Ellen has relatively few scenes, but leaves a great impression as a college professor whose value in the sexual marketplace shoots up when she leaves Boston for the tropics. She doesn't seem very bitter about this, just accepts it as part of the aging process. Karen Young is new to me, most of her work has been done for TV. Her part is different, more spiritual, less grounded in the realities of here and now. She has less inner resources to cope with the chaos and violence of Haiti. Louise Portal is one of my favorite Quebec actresses, known to foreign viewers through Denis Arcand's very funny Decline of The American Empire. Here she plays a woman who is simpler than Ellen or Brenda, happier and less conflicted about growing old.

Cantet's direction of actors and description of the poverty and desperation, as well as the beauty of the Haitian locales is very effective. I wondered what he was going to do after Time Out, that wintry cry of despair from the French Alps, and he hasn't disappointed me.


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