Humanity 1999
A riveting, enigmatic mystery-drama from France catapults writer-director Bruno Dumont into the front ranks of French filmmakers. "Humanite" is engrossing from start to finish, although it can leave the viewer stewing in frustration because it finally is open to various interpretations instead of ending with a neat answer to the nagging question of who killed the 11-year-old girl found savagely raped and murdered at the outset.

But this is no ordinary crime story that concludes with the required explanation. Dumont has instead made "Humanite" a window opening on life in a small French working class town and focusing on several of its characters. This is a film about people and their circumscribed lives. The director shows an absolute mastery of the cinematic art of creating a compelling visual terrain and a tense atmosphere. He concentrates his camera on the most minute detail and is unafraid to remain patiently fixed on scenes, much as the great director Jean Renoir did. The result is to sweep us into this world and make us feel as if we are in that town, breathing its very air and voyeuristically watching every move of the inhabitants depicted.

Director: Bruno Dumont
Cast: Emmanuel Schotte, Severine Caneele, Philippe Tullier
Country: France
Genre: Drama, Mystery

BD50, DVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 02:28:16 | 45.4 Gb + 7.57 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Francais
Subtitles: English


Bruno Dumont (HD, 14:59) is an interview conducted with the director with the Criterion Collection. The interview was filmed in 2019. In this short piece, Dumont explores his approach to making his second feature film with L'humanite.

Philippe Rouyer (HD, 31:19) conducts a sit-down interview with Dumont about L'humanite and his creative process in developing the feature and its story. Conducted in 2014, the lengthy piece covers a lot of ground and provides a more in-depth glimpse at the thoughts of its filmmaker.

Tendances (SD, 7:22) is a short segment taken from an episode of the television program. The piece explores the work of actress Severine Caneele and her role in the film as Domino. This short piece originally aired on television in 2000.

News Program (SD, 5:49) is another insightful interview featuring director Dumont as he discusses his work making L'humanite. The piece explores the filmmaker's origins and hometown. Unlike a sitting interview, Dumont actually walks around the city and even takes a trip to an art museum while discussing the film and his artistic process.

Theatrical Trailer (SD, 1:53)