If there’s one South African film you have to add to your collection, it’s the sublime Kanarie, marking the heavenly collaboration with director Christiaan Olwagen. It’s a life-changing film and alters jaded perceptions, a heart-breaking journey into the life of a conscripted soldier in South Africa in the 80s, who finds self-love and affirmation of his true identity through the love of another young man. Kanarie is a one of those rare films you cannot resist falling head-over-heels in love with. The insightful bonus features includes Afrikaans doccies on the film’s origin, auditions and the characters, and English doccies on the story, music and film’s history. There is also the music video ‘Nader My God By U’. The film can viewed in Afrikaans, or with English subtitles.
Five Fingers for Marseilles is a contemporary South African Western that fuses western influences, from classic to spaghetti and revisionist eras, into a contemporary South African drama written by Sean Drummond and directed by Michael Matthews.
It deals with the struggles and triumphs (over nature, crime and human nature) that affect communities on this new frontier, and the rich characters found in them. It contains many of the archetypes of the classic western – larger than life heroes and villains, an examination of the ideas of ‘good’ vs ‘evil’, conflicting human tendencies towards brotherhood and brutality and the themes of land and ownership, claim and legacy, and the urge to protect our roots – from even ourselves. Bonus Features: Extended Cinematic Trailer / Behind The Scenes with Cast / A Behind The Scene look at how the film was made.
Thys and Trix (Bouwer Bosch and Leandie du Randt Bosch) are siblings and eager yet helpless police officers. Their constant feud results in their expulsion after it causes yet another embarrassment for the police service. Detective Solomons is investigating the activities of a crime syndicate in an exclusive golf estate outside Mossel Bay. Due to their ‘vanilla’ appearance, Thys and Trix are singled out for the first time as the most competent team to lead an investigation. However, the fact that they must pretend to be a married couple to make the investigation credible, complicates the situation. Solomons has to accompany them, but isn’t happy that he’ll be their butler. Soon they have an entire list of suspects. On the list are their neighbours: the Janse van Rensburg’s (the alpha-couple); the Marais’ (the alternative hippie couple); the Le Roux’s (the gay couple) and Heidi (the widower who catches Thys’ eye) Are any of Thys and Trix’s new neighbours perhaps involved with the production and distribution of MTHC, a paralysing hallucinogenic. Trailer
In the captivating Beyond The River two men from vastly different walks of life have one thing in common: to win gold at the three-day Dusi Canoe Marathon as a doubles pair. But there are a few things they must overcome, not least of which are the completely different worlds they come from. They realise that the dream they both desperately desire requires them to work together, both in the boat and beyond the river. Inspired by the true story of Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks, who together won gold in the 2014 Dusi, Beyond the River delivers a nail-biting adventure story about the triumph of the human spirit. Directed by Craig Freimond and written by Freimond and Robbie Thorpe. The bonus features include a documentary on the real story and an interview with writer-director Craig Freimond. Watch The Trailer
With Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie, writer-director Christiaan Olwagen delivers a refreshing film that is as radical as the Voëlvry music movement that rebelled against the autocratic dictates of the apartheid government and changed the hearts of a generation of South Africans who wanted to break free from oppressive separatism. In the film a group of friends gather to celebrate the life and music of Johannes Kerkorrel, the lead singer of the Gereformeerde Blues Band, shortly after his suicide. Bonus Features: Behind the scenes interviews with the cast and crew / Read the review/ Trailer
In Chris Barnard’s poignant drama Die Rebellie Van Lafras Verwey Tobie Cronje takes on the title role of a man who has worked as a clerk in the Civil Service in Pretoria for thirty years. By day he sorts files and whiles away the mundane hours writing grandiose propaganda speeches and drilling imaginary platoons in the washroom, but unbeknownst to his colleagues he is also a clandestine parcel courier for a secret organization that recruited his services to complete their covert mission. The bonus features include a behind the scenes featurette. Watch The Trailer
Looking For Love is a new comedy-romance film by Nigerian-born filmmaker Adze Ugah.
In the lead is Celeste Ntuli, one of South Africa’s favourite actors and comedians. She takes on the role of ‘38 and single’ Buyi Dube, an often inappropriate, unaccomplished workaholic who is under pressure to find love. The film is a fictionalised retelling of Buyi’s rise to fame as a popular comedian. It follows her on a series of disastrous dates – including questionable concoctions, a quirky magician with a cat obsession, and a sex addict who can’t get enough of her big butt. Buyi is left disheartened and without hope of ever finding her match.
Broken Promises 4 Ever is the fourth instalment in the ‘Broken Promises’ franchise by well-known award-winning director, producer, and scriptwriter, Kumaran Naidu. The film follows the antics of the Padayachee family and all the favourite characters from the previous movies.
Krotoa tells the poignant story of a feisty, bright, young eleven-year old girl, who is removed from her close-knit Khoi tribe to serve Jan van Riebeeck at her uncle’s trading partner. Krotoa
(Crystal Donna Roberts) is brought into the first Fort, established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652. There she grows into a visionary young woman, who assimilates the Dutch language and culture so well that she rises to become an influential interpreter for van Riebeeck (Armand Aucamp), who became the first Governor of the Cape Colony.