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Movie Review: Heading South

Alternate Title: Lookin’ for Love in All the Wrong Places

Story: Sex on the beach was another of my alternate titles. Haiti, in the 1970’s, is the setting for this unusual film about sex, race and politics. The twist is that the sex is between older white women, who flock to this island on their vacations, for dalliances with the local very fit, handsome, boy toys. They pay for these encounters with either cash or gifts.

French director Laurent Cantet (Time Out) portrays a riveting story, which in lesser hands, would have fallen on its face. Adapted from stories by Dany LaFerrierre, the women are presented without judgment.

The repressive dictatorship of 1970’s Haiti, the history of colonialism and the cultural conflicts are all fodder for a very interesting tale.

Is this film for you? It will be enjoyed if you are able to leave your prejudices outside the theater. If not, stay away.

Acting: Charlotte Rampling is terrific as the 55 year old college professor who takes her yearly summer vacation to Haiti. She rules the roost of the vacationing women and the boy toys. Karen Young (the FBI agent from the Sopranos) is good as the lonely southern gal. The rest of the cast is also very effective. Menothy Cesar as Legba, the boy toy star was very good.

Predilection: None

Critters: Horses and dogs

Food: Chicken and sandwiches

Soundtrack: Some wonderful island music.

Theater Audience: A handful of folk.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 2

Squirm Scale: 1

Drift Factor: 0

Predictability Level: I was not sure what was going to happen.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: no

Soap Box: The regime of Baby Doc Duvalier has left a scar on that poor country that echoes today. For a great film about Haiti check out The Agronomist.

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine.

Length: Under two hours