39 user 89 critic

Disgrace (2008)

2:20 | Trailer
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.


Steve Jacobs


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





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


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


What is a mad heart? See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


'Disgrace' won the Best Narrative Film (The Black Pearl) Award at the Middle East Film Festival 2008. See more »


When David confronts Lucy at the impound yard, he pulls her left arm away from the steering wheel. In the next shot, it has returned. See more »


[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.
See more »


References Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) See more »


Di Questra Cetra in Seno (Il Parnaso Confuso)
Written by Christoph Willibald Gluck (as Christoph Willibald von Gluck')
See more »

User Reviews

Ugly, depressing movie with no redeeming qualities except good acting.
1 September 2011 | by tcabSee all my reviews

The motivations of this cast of characters is practically unfathomable. Playing against all reasonable expectations about human nature seems to be the point, here. This is an ugly, depressing movie about extremely neurotic people, none of whom elicit an ounce of sympathy. These people live in a society where "getting along" trumps pride and self respect. They are so world-weary, presumably from the black-white violence of their recent past that that will degrade and humiliate themselves just to maintain peace. It's not noble, it's not sensible, and it's very depressing. Why did the young black girl student, in the beginning of the story allow herself to be, essentially, raped by this odious troglodyte of a poetry teacher? She obviously didn't like him at all. Are we supposed to believe these blacks in South Africa have a slave mentality that prevents them from resisting a white man? I don't believe that for a moment. And how could the Malkovich character, so contrite about what he's done to the girl that he prostrates himself on the floor and apologizes to her mother—how does that attitude square with his seduction of the veterinarian woman without any regard for the feelings of her husband? And it goes on and on, all against a painful, callous background of dog euthanasia. Disgusting.

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Australia | South Africa


English | Xhosa | Afrikaans | Zulu

Release Date:

18 June 2009 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Disgrace See more »

Filming Locations:

South Africa See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,615, 20 September 2009

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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