Heading South (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

Heading South (2006)

Heading South (2006)

Heading South



Critic Consensus: As touching as it is disturbing, Heading South is an unconventional exploration of desire and longing, with superb performances and direction.

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Movie Info

A trio of lonely, middle-aged American women finds their growing disillusionment with stateside men leading them to seek emotional comfort and sexual gratification in the arms of young Haitian man in Time Out director Laurent Cantet's emotionally incisive adaptation of Haitian-Canadian author Dany Laferrière's acclaimed short stories. Competing for the attentions of beautiful young Haitian native Legba (Ménothy Cesar) are 55-year-old Wellesley professor Ellen (Charlotte Rampling), sexually frustrated Canadian factory worker Sue (Louise Portal), and fortysomething Georgia blonde Brenda (Karen Young). The Hotel Petite Anse is a haven for older women seeking the companionship of younger men, and doyenne Ellen has come to establish herself as something of the queen bee of the popular island establishment. Despite the constant threat of Baby Doc Duvalier's thuggish henchmen, these lonely women risk their livelihoods to bask under the sun and forget the troubles of their daily lives as the line between exploiter and exploited becomes increasingly blurred. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: G
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Laurent Cantet, Robin Campillo, Dany Laferrière
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 6, 2007
Shadow Distribution

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Anotte Saint Ford
as Limousine Girl
Dieunie Dorvilien
as Tina's Friend
Violette Vincent
as Legba's Mother
Vanessa Michel
as Girl In Yellow
Samuel Pierre Jean
as Legba's Friend
Juckel Remilus
as Legba's Friend
Gabrielle Lee
as Irish Tourist
Annette Snyder
as American Tourist
Geneviève Curt
as Picnic Tourist
Manolo Jerome
as Drinks Seller
Dieunie Dorvillien
as Tina's Friend
Joël Medelus
as Macoutes
Vanessa Michele
as Girl in Yellow
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Heading South

Critic Reviews for Heading South

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (27)

Exploring female desire in a way films rarely do, Heading South is a film of sometimes subtle, sometimes blunt metaphors for the interaction of rich and pauperized countries.

Full Review… | September 23, 2006
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

The regal Rampling has never been finer, and Cesar makes his character surprisingly proud and sympathetic.

Full Review… | September 7, 2006
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Displays an almost Fassbinder-like sensitivity to emotional shifts in power

Full Review… | August 30, 2009

A trio of middle-aged white women from different backgrounds relish the tropical pleasures of '70s era Haiti, which includes local teenage gigolos, in writer/director Laurent Cantet's problematic filmic adaptation of three short stories by Dany Laferriere

Full Review… | April 23, 2009

What Heading South says through careful omission or brief allusion is often more interesting than what it says on the clunky surface.

Full Review… | June 9, 2008
Paste Magazine

Erotic drama that probes lust, a police state and exploitation in the idyllic sunny climes of Haiti.

Full Review… | April 18, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Heading South


[font=Century Gothic]"Heading South" takes place in Haiti in the late 1970's where Brenda(Karen Young), a 48 year-old woman, returns after a visit three years previously where she enjoyed a tryst with a Haitian boy, Legba(Mentothy Cesar), and enjoyed her first orgasm. She stays at the same hotel and meets him again but is unpleasantly surprised to find Ellen(Charlotte Rampling), a 55 year-old professor, holding court. Ellen has spent the previous six summers at the same hotel to pay for sex with the young Haitian men who hang out at the beach. And she is not the only one...[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Heading South" is an ambiguous and matter-of-fact movie about the controversial subject of sex tourism. Had the American characters been men, then they would have been much less sympathetic. Here they are middle-aged women in the midst of the sexual revolution just before AIDS decimates Haiti. They are exploring their sexuality in a way that would have been impossible back home. They are balanced with the young Haitian men who engage with the women in an attempt to escape their desperate lives of poverty and repression under the brutal Duvalier regime.[/font]

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Good movie on a topic that is not really explored very often. My gripe was the fact this movie was set in the 1970s and the props and clothing were obviously much newer. I know it's an independent movie, but damn some effort would have been nice.


even the high calaber actresses like rampling can't save this one from being nothing more than "exotic" soft core porn, very disappointed with this one.

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