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It's heavily charged with all kind of sexual contacts, unforced and forced ones (by someone who is in a dominating position) and even with pure rape. It deals also with the eventual outcome of those contacts, like pregnancy and parental love.
Moreover, the story unfolds against the violent background of open racism in a country known for its apartheid.
Steve Jacobs did a formidable job in turning the harsh and sometimes bitter and terrible realities into a moving, emotional and ultimately sublime movie, which matches the book.
The director was impressively helped by his cast and in the first place by John Malkovich, whose (physical! and mental) interpretation of the very uninviting character of a sexually driven university professor is certainly one of his most memorable. He was superbly seconded by Jessica Haines as his fiercely independent daughter as well as by the rest of the cast.
A must see for all movie lovers and for all admirers J. M. Coetzee's work.
The film is taken from the book by Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzee. He won the Booker Prize for this novel. I have not read it and find I must. Coetzee is one of those authors you remember, and as far as I am concerned has not won the acclaim he deserves. The film takes place a few years after Apartheid. There is no longer the legal stigma of socializing or dating among the races. Malkovich is a professor of Romantic Poetry at the U of South Africa. He is arrogant, pig headed even, and thinks of no other except himself and his needs. He has an affair with a young student, and while it is not rape, she obviously does not enjoy it. He is found out and is asked to leave the university. He shows no regret except that he was found out.
Malkovich goes to visit his young daughter, Lucy, in the country. Here, things are simple, she raises dogs, and has a farm of flowers and veggies that Lucy tends. Lucy is a Lesbian and had a sig other who seems to have left. She also has a black man who lives on the farm and helps her out. Malkovich cannot understand this arrangement, the man walks in and watches television whenever he wants. Certainly things have changed. Lucy is very independent, and has her own way and manner of living. A horrible incident occurs and things will never be the same. However, life does go on, and the times and situations change and Malkovich has a new understanding of life such as it is. He asks for forgiveness from the family of the student of whom he had an affair.Read more ›
Lucy lives in a remote region in the East Cape on a small plot of land. She raises dogs and sells flowers to scrape together a modest living. It seems Lurie and his daughter had long been separated; they scarcely know each other when the "disgraced" professor comes knocking. A big part of the film is how their relationship develops.
Turns out Lucy lives in an area that lacks law and order. Hooligans roam without check. This is post-apartheid South Africa at its worst. Horrible things happen in this film. It seems that people must protect themselves in this region; Lurie and his daughter are not good at self protection.
The film is also about how Lucy is trapped by forces beyond her control. She must accept bitter realities in order to survive. She also feels that she has carved out a life and is determined to stay. Perhaps a lot of money would help, but money is scarce, although the ex-professor can afford a trip to Cape Town where he pays a prostitute. So the arrogant Lurie must take a crash course in Life 101, South African style. He must get his hands dirty, in both a literal and figurative sense. He also finds romance in the arms of a woman who is quite a contrast to the aforementioned coed.
Jessica Haines most convincingly portrays Lucy. She acts in a completely natural manner; it's as if she is playing herself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The movie was good but to get all the little nuans, reading the book is a must.Published 2 months ago by phoebe
a very minor Malkovich
how did he arrive to this miserable mess . . .
whom must we like here? Read more
Welcome to the inane world of white self-loathing. Dismising the physical and sexual violence against women, the wonton maiming and murder, and the economically debilitating theft... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Gary H. Beachum
Well 'Disgrace' is certainly the right title for this movie. It IS a disgrace.
The issue at hand is the systematic killing, the literal genocide, of white South African... Read more
This is the best book I have read. You might see parts of yourself in every character. I did. Its a short book, but it's a huge book.Published 13 months ago by C.P.
Great job making a film out of this book. The film is very close to the book and Malkovich was a good choice.Published 17 months ago by Albert