L’humanité (1999)

It’s an odd policier indeed that begins with the discovery of a gut-shudderingly heinous crime, then refuses to return to it until well over three-quarters of an hour into the film; apparently the dullard cop “hero”‘s frustrating private life should interest us more than his similarly frustrating professional life. Nick Wrigley’s piece on Bruno Dumont’s film calls it “a film that people either seem to be locked into from the start or they just can’t abide”, and I fear I’m in the latter camp; I’ve held off watching this for a long time cos I was less than enamoured of Twentynine Palms (wish I could remember exactly when I got this one relative to when I saw the latter). Still, with a backlog to clear, I thought I’d finally better get to this one, and, well, it wasn’t exactly worth the wait. Personally I was less aggrieved by the film’s insufferable length (147 minutes) and perceived “pretensions” other naysayers have found in it than I was the fact I’d intuited the child killer’s identity before we’d even seen any of the police investigation (out of which we see bugger all that would actually lead us to suspect him)… I can’t see myself rushing to see any more of Dumont’s films now for some reason.


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