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Waste Land (2014)

When his wife gets pregnant unexpectedly, homicide detective Leo Woeste starts losing himself more and more while he tries to solve one last very bizarre case before his child is born.


Pieter Van Hees


Pieter Van Hees (original screenplay)
5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Jérémie Renier ... Leo Woeste
Natali Broods ... Kathleen Woeste
Babetida Sadjo ... Aysha Tshimanga
Peter Van den Begin ... Johnny Rimbaud
Peter Van den Eede Peter Van den Eede ... Jean Perdieus (as Peter van den Eede)
Mourade Zeguendi Mourade Zeguendi ... Fouad
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luna Aquilina Luna Aquilina ... Child
Titouan Aquilina Titouan Aquilina ... Child
François Beukelaers François Beukelaers ... Jozef Woeste
Madyson Chretien Madyson Chretien ... Child
Berthe Tanwo Njole Berthe Tanwo Njole ... Evi-Nissa
Maxime Rennaux Maxime Rennaux ... Child
Pitcho Womba Konga Pitcho Womba Konga ... The professor


Brussels. Homicide detective Leo Woeste lives together with his girlfriend Kathleen and her five year old son Jack. Day after day Leo is confronted with the grim underbelly of the city. He tries to protect himself by balancing his job with his family life. When Kathleen gets pregnant unexpectedly, Leo starts loosing control. He accepts one last case, the murder of a young Congolese he can't seem to solve. There's his new hedonistic colleague Johnny Rimbaud and the affair with Aysha, the attractive victim's sister. Everything seems to pull him away from Kathleen and from his role as a father, deeper and deeper into the waste land. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller



Official Sites:

Epidemic [Belgium]




Flemish | French | Dutch

Release Date:

25 March 2015 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Az utolsó ügy See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This movie is announced as the third part in the 'anatomy of love and pain'. This one is about the soul, while previous movies of the director were about the mind and the body. See more »


Follows Left Bank (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Crime thriller, psychological drama, or both?
1 December 2014 | by rubenmSee all my reviews

'Waste Land' is presented as a crime thriller. But in this film, solving the crime is secondary to the psychological development of the lead character, Belgian police detective Leo. He has a stormy relationship with his girlfriend. When she tells him she is pregnant, his world is turned upside down because deep down he is afraid to become a father.

While he tries to solve the killing of a boy who was involved in smuggling valuable statues from Congo, his private life seems to go completely off the rails. He insults his girlfriend, starts an affair with the sexy sister of the murdered boy, cuts himself repeatedly with a knife, moves away from his comfortable house to go live in a hotel, starts believing in black magic and visits drug parties. 'You need help', advises a close colleague when they meet in a bar.

The film is strong on atmosphere, showing Brussels as an urban jungle where everyone struggles for survival. The photography is beautiful, especially the way the Congolese subculture in Brussels is shown. But the story didn't convince me. How can someone with clear psychological problems be responsible for a murder investigation? And where exactly do Leo's problems come from? Why doesn't he seek help, as is suggested? All the same, the director does a nice job mixing Leo's downfall with the search for the killer, while at the same time showing how Belgium tries to cope with its colonial past. Sometimes, the film made me think about Werner Herzog's 'Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call New Orleans', in which Nicolas Cage plays a similar role.

The film is spoken in two languages, Dutch and French. In a way, this is very authentic because Brussels is a bilingual city. But the constant mixing of the two languages, even in a conversation between two people, is confusing and not very realistic. Usually, a conversation is held in either French or Dutch, not the two together. Moreover, lead actor Jeremy Renier doesn't speak Dutch very well, so that doesn't help.

Overall, the film has quite a few strong points. It's just that I couldn't really identify with Leo's lead part, and his problems were hammered home a bit too strongly.

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