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L'humanite [DVD]

3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Emmanuel Schotté, Séverine Caneele, Philippe Tullier, Ghislain Ghesquière, Ginette Allègre
  • Directors: Bruno Dumont
  • Producers: Jean Bréhat, Rachid Bouchareb
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Artificial Eye
  • DVD Release Date: 22 May 2006
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F6III0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,879 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

When an eleven-year-old girl is found raped and murdered in Flanders, the man placed in charge of the case is police lieutenant Pharaon de Winter (Emmanuel Schotté) - an introvert who lives with his mother and pines for his neighbour, Domino (Séverin Caneele). She is aware of his attraction, and tries to involve him in outings with her bus driver boyfriend Joseph (Philippe Tullier), who regards de Winter as an unnecessary bore. De Winter becomes traumatised by the case, increasingly turning to Domino to comfort, but his investigation ultimately leads to a startling revelation.

From Amazon.co.uk

French writer-director Bruno Dumont brought his second feature L'Humanite ("a film about sex and death", as Dumont deftly sketched it) to the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, in the teeth of great expectation: his debut La Vie de Jesus had been widely adored. But many critics were bored and/or repulsed by L'Humanite. Their scorn turned to fury when David Cronenberg's jury honoured L'Humanite with the Grand Prix, and both male and female acting prizes. These distinctions may have bemused Dumont's non-professional leads, Emmanuel Schotte and Severine Caneele. But for Dumont's admirers, the prizes were an elegant tribute to a formidable new talent in world cinema.

L'Humanite concerns Pharaon de Winter, a simple man in his 30s, who lives with his mother in the provincial town of Bailleul. He seems to be a police detective, and he is assigned to investigate the appalling rape and murder of a little girl. But Pharaon would rather idle away the hours with his neighbour Domino, a mild young woman with a truculent boyfriend, Joseph. Nevertheless, that unsolved crime will not go away; and as Pharaon conducts his seemingly hopeless investigation, he is drawn inexorably to confront what he abhors--in our common humanity, and within himself.

It was the great French director Robert Bresson who suggested that "the supernatural in film is only the real rendered more precise. Real things seen close up". Dumont once wrote Bresson a luminous fan letter ("Je vous aime beaucoup"), and he is devoted to a similar kind of extraordinary realism. Like Bresson, Dumont has a power to refresh our way of seeing: he wants to show us the world in exactly the way that he loves it. L'Humanite challenges the viewer to live with its studied pace and unabashed peculiarity. You might love it or loathe it. But it is a brave, beautiful film. --Richard Kelly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Award winning filmmaker Bruno Dumont makes singular films that draw on the influence of people like Robert Bresson, Ingmar Bergman and early Federico Fellini, in a clear attempt to create an enhanced state of realism that works both for and against the film and the audience. Also, like his countryman Gaspar Noe, it could be argued that Dumont makes films that challenge the viewer to engage with a story that will undoubtedly take us to some very dark and often shockingly immoral places; giving us characters that are morally ambiguous, often loathsome and, in the case of our central protagonist here, almost pitiful. There aren’t many filmmakers who would choose as their hero of a desolate detective thriller, an innocent man-child who seems to be as socially inept and emotionally damaged as a person could be, but with Police chief Pharaon De Winter, that is exactly what we get.
Dumont makes his bleak vision obvious from the start, with the horrendous discovery of a murdered and mutilated child left naked and bleeding in an autumnal field. The image is a shocking and brutal one; Dumont giving us a punch to the stomach almost from the first frame with lingering close-ups over the wounds and filleted body parts. It’s an image that both establishes and surmises the film as a thematic whole... the loss of innocence being central both with the murdered child and with the character of Pharaon. It is the back-story and the fragile demeanour of Pharaon, and to an extent the evocative performance of non-professional actor Emmanuel Schotte, which anchors the film, giving the audience an emotional spectator. He is our representation. After the aforementioned grizzly discovery there are no macho heroics...
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By technoguy VINE VOICE on 23 Aug. 2009
Format: DVD
L'Humanite is a profound meditation on the meaning of existence and the nature of film. Dumont situates the film in Balleul,the Flanders area of NE France,a coastal village.Nothing you have ever seen will prepare you for the slow drawn-out physicality of this provincial,rural backwater and the dull bleakness of its denizens.We start with a figure of a man running on the horizon from left to right filmed in wide screen.He is our eponymous main character,Pharaon de Winter, the policeman in charge of the investigation of the rape,violation and murder of an 11 year old girl. We have graphic images of her mutilated vagina with ants crawling over it. We dwell in the policeman's field of perception from when he throws himself in the mud at his shock at what he has seen, to his screaming to let out tension,drowned out by a passing train. He nuzzles criminals as if out of empathy.De Winter(Scotte) lost his wife and child 2 years ago, whether they left him or were killed in an accident we do not know. He lives with his mother who treats him like an overgrown schoolboy.He's friends with his neighbour Domino(Severine), a factoryworker, whose boyfriend,Joseph, a loutish bus driver, has rough sex with her.There is no tenderness in their spiritless love-making. Pharaon longs for closeness with Domino, not necessarily sexual. He often stands outside his house leaning against the wall,watching the passing world with his large mournful eyes talking to Domino with her sweaty sleeveless blouse which shouts sex.

Pharaon needs to be touched and needs affection and she is sensitive to this.He often tags along with her and Joseph when they go out to the coast or to a restaurant,often putting up with all kinds of insults from Joseph, lording it over him.Joseph breaks the law,Pharaon implodes with self-loathing.
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This film bored the hell out of me. It’s about an autistic policeman who bobs about doing bugger all. The plot describes him trying to solve the murder of a young girl, however this only happens one hour into the film. Before this we get an hour of the autistic policeman having a holiday on the beach. It’s so bloody slow. There are a couple of interesting moments such as a man randomly levitating and a bizarre reveal of the killer, but it’s not worth sitting through the whole ordeal to see these moments. It’s a shame because I loved the directing and the atmosphere of realism.
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Deals very frankly with alienation and the pathos of sexual crime. But the banality of the ordinary lives the film evokes is memorable. The English couple who may have seen crucial clues to the murder of the child from the Eurostar train are beautifully played. Despite the brutal frankness of the sex scenes it is the pathos of the human condition one remembers. Scenes in the mental hospital underline the issue of alienation. Some viewers will find the film distressing and voyeuristic. But is its humanity that most viewers will remember.
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"L'Humanite" is a poignant character portrait of a small town French cop who is endeavouring to uncover the mystery behind the violent rape and death of an 11 year old schoolgirl. Although I guessed the culprits identity about halfway through the film, there is much to admire about this film. The two main characters, Pharaon the cop and his neighbour Domino, an odd couple if ever there was one , are acted superbly by Emmanuel Schotte and Severine Caneele.Pharaon's gentle ,quasi-traumatised, slow moving cop contrasts well with Domino's lascivious, feisty factory worker. The film is very slow moving and the plot is fairly slight , but "L'Humanite" maintains the viewer's interest throughout. Why ? Because the viewer cares about the characters and identifies with their struggles and emotional problems. We share in their humanity.
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