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Heading South [DVD]

11 customer reviews

Price: £9.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Charlotte Rampling, Karen Young, Louise Portal, Ménthony Cesar, Lys Ambroise
  • Directors: Laurent Cantet
  • Producers: Caroline Benjo, John Hamilton
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Soda Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Oct. 2006
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H1QR2C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,836 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

In 1970s Haiti, suffering under the regime of 'Baby Doc' Duvalier, three women arrive for a holiday on the idyllic tourist beaches, looking for holiday romance and a break from their mundane lives. All three employ the attentions of attractive local boy Legba (Ménthony Cesar), but he soon leads them away from the privileged world of the tourist hotels and beaches to reveal the grim reality of life in Haiti for ordinary people under the Duvalier dictatorship.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nightwatcher on 11 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I agree with all the others who gave this film such a positive review. The views of Haiti are limited, as our insights into the character of Legba. We see things solely from the point of view of the three self-indulgent, female tourists. The soliloquy given by each of the actresses are superb devices, pulled off well by two of the three stars (you judge which). The violent end is well-handled and leaves just enough questions open to be satisfying. Did the women ever come back, where are they now, and did Brenda really do what she vowed she would. A definite five-start film
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 Feb. 2014
Format: DVD
Even for the sexually openminded there is something a bit dirty about these women, well into middle age, being so interested in getting young men to have sex with them. To think they're going huge distances to indulge themselves like this, and quite happily using these boys with all the racial inequality this implies ... well, I do find it a bit sordid, and quite depressing. They do not seem happy and clearly are not finding any answers via this route. Legba is a sexy young man but they would be better off just admiring him from afar, or trying to find a younger man closer to home who might be interested. The sex tourist trade does come across badly, but in its favour, the film doesn't say what we see is OK. Laurent Cantet gets a very ambiguous tone, but ultimately it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It doesn't offer all that much, even if it is accurate. The best thing about it is the cover image, which is very striking and doesn't show the coldness behind the aquamarine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dooscah on 5 Sept. 2012
Format: DVD
The films language is mostly in French due to the French actresses but is set in Haiti. It tells the story of three middle-aged women who frequent a Haiti beach resort to revel in the flirtatious company of the young black natives who are full of vigor and excitement by comparison.

The mixture of these two groups/cultures into a screenplay is always interesting to watch adding an overall unpredictability to unfolding events. It's quite a dreamy, laid-back feature lightly sprinkled with introspective narratives adding further depth to the individual characters. Subtle emotions are rife and the dialogue is quite understated against the action performances and body language; which I think is absolutely the right way around yet hard to achieve.

The main tourist resident who visits each year is played by revered French actress Charlotte Rampling (Swimming Pool, 2003) she has similar sexual appeal to say Helen Mirren, so is ideal for this cast. She gets into a love tug of war with another less frequent visitor over a young buck named Legba. For some reason, they adore him and as such, he is centred as the main love interest throughout the film.

Lovers of arthouse/independent cinema should not be disappointed with this movie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on 17 Dec. 2013
Format: DVD
I'm been a huge fan of Charlotte Rampling, I bought this movie after it was recommended to me. Quite a thought provoking movie.
Heading South sees three ladies vacationing in Haiti and their 'affairs' with some native boys who offer their sexual favours for a price, money, presents or food.
Brenda's recollection of when she first met Legba is moving and her confusion with having a good time by buying his attention with falling in love with him as he becomes an obsession for her. Ellen on the other hand wants to posses Legba but sees the only way to keep him is to give him sexual freedom with the other guests. Sue loses all inhibitions and feels she can only be herself on the island as a sexually liberated woman.
The movie deals with the implication of sex tourism and of course the not so subtle Duvalier regime and its effects on the population.
Beautifully shot and very well acted Ms Rampling was exceptional as always. Great supporting cast and good direction. Needs to be watched again.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By MICHAEL ACUNA on 29 July 2006
Format: DVD
Set in Haiti during the reign of Baby Doc Duvalier, Laurent Cantet's (the unusual, quietly persuasive "Time Out")"Heading South" ("Vers le Sud") is an erotic fairy-tale in many ways: the "noble," pliant natives in the person of Legba (the excellent Menothy Cesar), rich bored white women looking for a summer vacation of good times, hot beaches, cool drinks and hot sex.

The story features three such women: the mercurial, experienced at the hows and whys of Haiti and its beach boys Ellen (Charlotte Rampling), the basically depressed and debauched Brenda (Karen Young) and the wise, knows the scoop, been there, done that and wants to do it again French Canadian, Sue (Louise Portal). All three have been to Haiti previously and all, for better or worse, are back as this film begins.

Without a doubt the center of Ellen and Brenda's attention is the charismatic Legba: coal black, wide smile, welcoming, willing and emotionally and physically available at all times for both of them...a neat trick as its hard enough to keep one woman happy, but two? But human beings being human beings things go awry pretty quickly.

On the surface it would seem that Legba is being manipulated and used but on closer inspection it is Legba who holds all the cards and he deals them as he sees fit. Legba is in charge and it is Ellen and Brenda who willingly do his bidding. And Menothy Cesar's Legba is more that up to all this attention and scrutiny: his Legba is wise, intelligent, thoughtful, loving, family oriented...not just a piece of meat, in other words, not available to the highest bidder.

The young, virile Haitians are the prizes in Cantet's heady, jasmine scented, tropical world and they use their youthful potency and attractiveness as the currency that will translate into a one-way ticket to a life out of their everyday poverty and squalor.
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