Review: Liewe Kersfeesvader

Wishes are definitely okay in the utterly charming Liewe Kersfeesvader

Review by Daniel Dercksen (17/11/17)

Wishes rekindle shattered dreams in Etienne Fourie’s soulful and heartfelt Liewe Kersfeesvader, an emotionally filled journey into the lives of ordinary people and a down-to-earth Father Christmas.

Scripted by Fourie, it’s a story we all can relate to, and one that will resonate with anyone who has ever tried to make sense of the world they live in, or the family that rule their life. Read interview

A young beauty queen is flung into swift adulthood when her father assumes a new identity: Father Christmas. Juggling an unhinged father, an impressionable kid brother and a growing romance, Nonnie must redefine her own meaning of family.

Set in a rustic small town, this refreshing coming-of-age story features top notch performances from the cast; Morné Visser shines as a man who tries to reconcile his family by stepping into the shoes of Father Christmas, with hope in his heart and love in his soul; Mila Guy is perfectly cast as Nonnie, delivering a memorable performance as a teenager in search of meaning and love; Eloff Snyman makes an impact in his feature debut as Nonnie’s worldwise younger brother; and Dean-John Smith is the dashing Prince Charming in this rustic fairy tale.

Fourie’s brings his layered screenplay to glorious life with verve and vigour, allowing us a vibrant Christmas-flavoured experience, poignantly capturing the essence of romance, intrigue and the conflicted relationship between the characters, strikingly realized by cinematographer Eduan Kitching.

What works extremely well is how Fourie skillfully balances the inner life of the story with the charged plotline. He allows us to share intimate moments of self-discovery and introspection without intruding on the characters, keeping his distance when needed, gently cradling these sacred moments where we become a part of the experience.  This is where the film truly becomes alive and will most definitely live in the hearts of anyone seeking a meaningful cinematic experience.

With so much chaos and uproar in the world, we truly need films like this to remind us of how important it is to honour our wishes and ensure that our idealism is never thwarted by the upheavals that force us to embrace our flawed humanity.

If you are looking for ideal entertainment where people matter, Liewe Kersfeesvader is the perfect film to share with family, friends and loved ones, a charming South African film that never indulges in crudeness, rather offering wholesome viewing, celebrating proudly South African filmmaking at its best.

The film is in Afrikaans with English subtitles.