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Disgrace (2008)

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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:

Steve Jacobs

Writers:

J.M. Coetzee (novel), Anna Maria Monticelli (screenplay)
5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Malkovich ... Professor David Lurie
Jessica Haines Jessica Haines ... Lucy Lurie
Eriq Ebouaney ... Petrus
Fiona Press ... Bev Shaw
Antoinette Engel Antoinette Engel ... Melanie Isaacs
Natalie Becker ... Soraya
Antonio Fisher Antonio Fisher ... Sidney - Student
Isabella De Villiers Isabella De Villiers ... Mrs. Cundell - Student
Cindy Mkaza Cindy Mkaza ... Mrs. Mbeti - Student
Liezel De Kock Liezel De Kock ... Student Director
Charles Tertiens Charles Tertiens ... Ryan
David Dennis David Dennis ... Mr. Isaacs (as David Denis)
Paula Arundell Paula Arundell ... Dr Farodia Rassool
Anne Looby Anne Looby ... Rosalind
David Ritchie 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:

He is what he calls himself, a monster. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | South Africa

Language:

English | Xhosa | Afrikaans | Zulu

Release Date:

18 June 2009 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Desgracia See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,615, 20 September 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$66,643, 4 October 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

The notices in the lecture theater "Mid-term test" and "Casanova - your time is over" appear to have been written by the same person. Given the professionalism adopted by the university in its investigation of Mr Laurie it does not seem plausible to suggest that one person (say, a teacher's aide) wrote both notices. 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

Skokiaan
Written by August Musarurwa
Performed by Spokes Mashivane
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User Reviews

 
Intelligent, disciplined, thought-provoking
28 June 2011 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

I haven't read the award-winning book on which it is based, but Steve Jacob's film 'Disgrace' is a thoughtful and intelligent story about wrongdoing and reconciliation that quite explicitly functions as a microcosm of post-Apartheid South Africa and its relationship with its own past. In it, John Malkovich's disgraced, womanising and cynical ex-University professor comes to understand the value of offering contrition (when reparation is not obviously a feasible outcome) after his daughter is attacked and there is nothing corresponding to justice available for her. Indeed, she lives (in the remote highlands) where the very basis of power (which is ultimately needed to support justice) is undergoing a practical (though ugly) renegotiation, and the attack itself is seen (by her, though not by her father) in this context. The fact that both the professor and his daughter are, in their own ways, prickly and proud characters, makes the story more interesting; and the temptation for melodrama is resisted at every turn (indeed, while the most obviously dramatic scenes are being played out, the bigger event is occurring off-camera). It takes a lot of discipline to make a film this way; but there's a pay off - it feels real throughout, and makes you think by avoiding all the easy clichés.


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