Amateur actors wage war in French follow-up to "Humanite"


on May 18, 2007 by Ed Scheid
As in his earlier films such as Humanite , Bruno Dumont gives Flanders a raw physicality in both the settings and the relationship between farmer Demester (Samuel Boidin) and his neighbor Barbe (Adelaide Lebroux). Set in the director's birthplace, the film uses little dialogue to emphasize the inability of Demester to declare the depth of his feelings for her. As a result, she takes up with Blondel (Henri Cretel), a new arrival who, like Demester, is drafted to fight in a Middle Eastern country. The war becomes a disturbing sequence of continual brutality and retribution by both sides, with atrocities that lead to an extremely emotional confrontation.

Dumont again casts all nonprofessionals who, because of the time involved in creating a film, he sought out among the unemployed in places such as courts of law. Boidin and Lebroux are particularly effective in the film, which won the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes and offers a vivid and unflinching view of what Dumont calls the primitive basis of humanity.
Distributor: International Film Circuit
Cast: Adelaide Lebroux, Samuel Boidin and Henri Cretel
Director/Screenwriter: Bruno Dumont
Producer: Jean Brehat and Rachid Bouchareb
Genre: Drama; French-language, subtitled
Rating: Unrated
Running time: 91 min.
Release date: May 18, 2007 NY, June 8 LA, June 22 SF, July 27 DC
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