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Directed by Bruno Dumont
Produced in 2006
Main Language - French with English subtitles
Adelaide Leroux, Samuel Boidin, Henri Cretel, Jean-Marie Bruveart
Demester divides his time between his farm and walks with his childhood friend Barbe. He loves her, secretly and painfully, but along with others of his generation, leaves for a nameless war. The seasons pass. Demester is brutalised by the random violence of war but still nourishes an intense love for Barbe. Winner of the Cannes Jury Prize, 2006.
Publisher: Soda Pictures
Length: 91 mins
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic widescreen
Cat No: SODA048
Format: DVD Colour
- Director Masterclass: Bruno Dumont in conversation at Rendez-vous with French Cinema, London, 2007.
by Anon on 17th August 2007
French maverick Bruno Dumont is not the cheeriest of fellows. Much like Bresson, he demands performances of such scant expression from his non-professional actors that... Read on
French maverick Bruno Dumont is not the cheeriest of fellows. Much like Bresson, he demands performances of such scant expression from his non-professional actors that their characters seem to have no inner life. The result, in La Vie de Jésus and L’Humanité, are depictions of humanity at its most rudimentary, often basest level.
It was only a matter of time before Dumont made a war film. This follows the fortunes of a Flanders farmer, Demester (Samuel Boidin) sent to fight in an unspecified desert conflict, where his most barbaric instincts are acted upon, most horribly in a gang rape. At home, his childhood love Barbe (Adelaïde Leroux) wilts under the pressure of family history and loneliness and starts to lose her sanity.
It’s a troubling film, whose minimalist battle scenes are matched in their horror by the protagonists’ unreal inability to express themselves. Thus Dumont posits the seeds of wartime atrocity in the emotional deficiencies of ordinary people in their daily lives. But this time the downbeat view is, surprisingly, relieved at the eleventh hour.