This is the story of a simple man. Young and unassuming. He believes in every one of us. He is police lieutenant Pharaon De Winter. This is the story of his naïve existence. A sober and humble man burdened with the wrongdoing of others. He suffers endlessly from this empathy…
Pharaon’s work on a sordid investigation slowly divulges his despair and the dread of his own guilt. A universal guilt, that of our very own monstrous nature. This is his sacrifice. –Cannes Film Festival
Bruno Dumont is a filmmaker whose use of celluloid is a direct result of his intense desire to understand and make sense of the world around him. His downbeat dramas may not appeal to those who see only the negative in a cinematic world of stark reality, but viewers with the ability to see a glimmer of light in the darkness will surely connect with his sometimes bleak cinematic endeavors. A former philosophy professor who has turned his mind toward crafting confrontational films in which no aspect of modern society is out of bounds, Dumont has claimed that his films are the result of a noted effort to bring film back to the body in hopes of stirring the viewer’s emotions. His 1997 debut, The Life of Jesus, was not a literal retelling of the events of the life of the biblical Jesus, but a socially critical look at life in Northern France. Acclaimed worldwide for its affecting portrayal of bored street youth, the film opened many doors for the director, and it wasn’t long before… read more
There is a kind of bombast in Dumont's work that cannot be gainsaid by its dialectical concern -- in Humanite, at least -- with open, empty spaces, abysmal, blank-as-your-life stares, and narrative energies gone slack. Coming in somewhere between the "sado-modernism" of Seidl and Haneke and the tragic humanism of the Dardennes, Dumont has yet to achieve a synthesis of substance and style of comparable power. Still: dead spooky.
It's a very naturalistic film in its treatment to ambiance. It evokes a poet in you while at the same time the the nihilistic and sexually-knit mystery renders a brilliant contrast to the overall motif of the film. Certain parts assume a subtle parodic air. A fine watch.