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Heading south (Vers le sud) - Louise Portal, Charlotte Rampling, Karen Young, Ménothy Cesar, Laurent Cantet

Threat advisory: Guarded - General risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Three women from North America are holidaying on the idyllic, sun-drenched island of Haiti in the 1970s. Ellen (Charlotte Rampling) is an unmarried Boston schoolmistress who returns to Haiti every year for her summer holiday to be with the local Adonis, Legba (Ménothy Cesar). Sue (Louise Portal), a single, fortysomething Canadian also enjoys the attention and intimacy of a young local man, Neptune. When Brenda (Karen Young), a divorcee from the Midwest arrives, tensions build as she seeks out Legba, with whom she had a sexual encounter years before.

The background to the women's stories are told direct to camera, as is the story of Albert (Lys Ambrose), the head waiter at the resort where the women stay.

Set during the time of "Baby Doc" Duvalier's notoriously violent regime, the reality of the dangerous, poverty-stricken Haiti outside of the tourist resorts is revealed to these women when Legba's life is put at risk.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Heading south (Vers le sud) theatrical one sheet imageHeading south (Vers le sud) theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film Caribbean holiday romance France French multi-cultural inter-racial relationship Haiti crime prostitution hustle

Persons of interest

  • Ménothy Cesar .... Legba
  • Louise Portal .... Sue
  • Charlotte Rampling .... Ellen
  • Karen Young .... Brenda
  • Lys Ambroise .... Albert
  • Jackenson Pierre Olmo Diaz .... Eddy
  • Wilfried Paul .... Neptune
  • Michelet Cassis .... Charlie
  • Pierre-Jean Robert .... Chico
  • Jean Delinze Salomon .... Jérémy
  • Kettline Amy .... Denise
  • Daphné Destin .... Lossita
  • Guiteau Nestant .... Frank
  • Michelet Ulysse .... Bob
  • Natacha Petit .... Tina
  • Dany Laferrière .... Author: La chair du maître
  • Robin Campillo .... Screenwriter
  • Laurent Cantet .... Screenwriter
  • Laurent Cantet .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Heading south (Vers le sud) is a great flick for chicks who have grown up to realise that men are bastards and, if you're not going to be a lesbian, then life doesn't begin at 40, it ends at 29. Or, you can take up this other option, hiring rent boys.

There's nothing like the firm, smooth skin of a lithe young thing sliding up against you in the steamy tropical night.

As for the drama, well, when you dive into the murky waters of criminal sexuality you should be prepared to come up for air with the odd crab. Sex and crime are interesting enough - just look at the popularity of Law & order: SVU - but when you mix in thrown-over and mature-age women, autumn/spring romance, an evil dictatorship, corrupt police and sweaty Caribbean youths you've got the right ingredients for a tasty broth.

The one thing that I didn't like was the to-camera confessions of the various women: it was overly and overtly theatrical. You'd have a hard time pulling it off on the stage let alone the big screen.

While I remember, "heading south" is not used as a double entendre in this film even though it certainly could be.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Languages: French
  • Picture: Widescreen
  • Special features:
    • Interviews: Laurent Cantet (Director)
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Subtitles: English, English captions

Security censorship classification

M (Moderate sexual references, moderate drug use)

Surveillance time

108 minutes (1:48 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 26 December 2006
DVD rental: 18 July 2007
DVD retail: 7 November 2007

Cinema surveillance images

Heading south (Vers le sud) imageHeading south (Vers le sud) imageHeading south (Vers le sud) imageHeading south (Vers le sud) image

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