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Directed by Bruno Dumont
Produced by Rachid Bouchareb
Jean Bréhat
Written by Bruno Dumont
Cinematography Yves Cape
Edited by Guy Lecorne
Release date
  • 17 May 1999 (1999-05-17)
Running time
148 minutes
Country France
Language French

Humanité (French: L'humanité) is a 1999 film directed by Bruno Dumont. It tells the story of a policeman who has lost touch with his emotions and has to investigate the rape and murder of a schoolgirl. In the process he begins to relate to other humans again. The film is shot with little dialogue in a contemplative and symbolical style which corresponds to the policeman's character and his method of investigation.


In the far north of France, filmed in Bailleul, a girl of 11 is raped and murdered as she walked to her parents' remote farm from the school bus. Called onto the case, Inspector Pharaon de Winter feels extreme revulsion. After losing his wife and child in an accident, he now lives quietly with his widowed mother.

At the weekend his neighbour Domino, who is sympathetic to his shocked state, asks him to join her and her lover Joseph, a bus driver. They go to the seaside and to a restaurant, but the reserved Pharaon finds Joseph ignorant and coarse.

The police investigation moves slowly, with Pharaon looking into possibilities such as whether the murderer was a bus driver or a psychiatric patient. Noting that the murder site could be seen from Eurostar trains, he goes to London to interview passengers. But with no firm lead, the case is taken over by the Lille police.

The factory where Domino works goes on strike and the police, led by Pharaon, have to quell a demonstration. Though outwardly angry, in fact Domino admires his quiet determination and offers herself to him. But he is not ready for such a relationship, and his mother warns her off.

Then the Lille police arrest Joseph. When Pharaon gets to the police station, he finds him beaten up and weeping. Being a man of deep feeling, he comforts him. When he goes home, his mother is out and Domino is at the kitchen table weeping. He comforts her. The final shot shows Pharaon sitting in a chair in his office at the police station, staring out the window, with handcuffs visibly shackling his wrists.



The film was entered into the 1999 Cannes Film Festival where it won the following awards:[1]


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Humanité". Retrieved 2009-10-06. 

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