Heading South is a dramatic romance film that was written by Robin Campillo, Dany Laferriere and Laurent Cantet, who also directed the movie. The film was produced by Simon Arnal and Caroline Benjo, featuring Charlotte Rampling, Karen Young, Louise Portal and Menothy Cesar. The film begins as American Brenda, (played by Karen Young) travels to a resort in Haiti during the 1970s to experience an emotional reawakening. Three years prior, she had been to the same place and became romantically involved with a much younger man. Since that time, she has been obsessed with the experience. Her marriage recently ended and she is now left on her own to do as she pleases.
However, when Brenda arrives at the resort, she sees that Legba (played by Menothy Cesar), has become involved with another older woman called Ellen (played by Charlotte Rampling) who is a university professor.
Ellen is the leader of the group and stays months out of every year. She adopts a facade that is merely a strategy to fulfill her needs. She speaks to people curtly with a smug smile, trying to appear very confident and assertive.
Most of the women are not wealthy - but just middle and lower class and very lonely. They all just have enough cash to have a vacation on an inexpensive beach in a very poor country.
These women have chosen to go to Haiti since they are basically cast off by the societies they live in as irrelevant. The atmosphere is quite festive, but in a phony way. They are all vulnerable as to a lack of allure in their own countries, but found in Haiti a country where most of the men are more powerless than they are.
Brenda finally learns that her hunger for self-satisfaction is actually much more selfish than she ever realized. Over time, she sees herself for whom she really is.