L'Humanite (1999) from
|For those who enjoy something unique,
rather than the same old formula film, this is one for
your consideration. Pharaon De Winter is a policeman
(actually chief investigator) in a small French town, and
has been called to a murder/rape scene. The victim is an
11 year old girl.
director lets us know immediately that this will not be
an ordinary film. Pharaon is so shaken from what he
finds, that he is nearly unable to function, then we are
shown what he say in a nice long closeup. We see a
between the legs shot of the victim with leg bruises, a
bloody, hairless vagina, and ants crawling on the corpse.
The image is every bit as disturbing as it sounds.
lives at home with his mother, and is close to two
people, Joseph, and his girlfriend Domino. Pharaon is
quiet, kind, and sort of bland, while Joseph is far more
outgoing and aggressive. Domino likes sex, and is close
to Pharaon. The film runs for well over 2 hours, and
crawls through the plot line -- Pharoan and his
department try to discover who killed the little girl,
and the three friends hang out together. Along the way,
the factory that Domino works in goes on strike. Without
revealing whodunit, that is pretty much the plot.
|We see Domino
(Severine Caneele) from nearly every angle while
having sex with Joseph, and we see a near
gynecological shot when she offers herself to
the film would put you to sleep, but, despite the slow
pace, it kept me on the edge of my seat. Writer/Director
Bruno Dumont says, in an in-depth interview, that he
doesn't tell everything about the characters in the film,
because he wants his audience to become involved with the
characters, and try to figure things out actively. This,
I think, is what held my interest. Pharaon is an
interesting character who would like to take the entire
world's burdens on his shoulders, but is not able. He is
smart enough to see how bad things are, but not strong
enough to fix them.
||The film is beautifully
shot, and the sex scenes are very convincing, down to
loins slapping together.
Obviously, this is not a film for
everyone, and is not a great companion to beer and
popcorn, but is a well made character based drama with
very interesting characters.
Consensus: No consensus,
but two and a half stars was the average.
Ebert 3.5/4, Apollo 55, BBC 2/5
The film swept Cannes with
Grand Jury prize, best actor and best
- With their
votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters
score it 7.0, near-classic status,
similar to Ebert's 3.5 stars. Apollo
users 59/100. These scores are consistent
with the critical consensus.
- With their
dollars ... The film peaked at 4 screens
in its US release, and total gross was
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this
description, this film is a B-.
the Movie House home page