A coming of age drama that reflects and interrogates the recognition of “life goes on”
The sexual awakening of a teenage girl stirs a rousing romance in Mignon Mossie Van Wyk, the latest film from Darrell James Roodt, who recently gave us the romance Trouvoete and the human dramas Treurgrond and Seun.
Roodt re-unites with Trouvoete screenwriter Tarren-Tanille Prinsloo, as well as Déandré Reiners , who delivered a powerful performance in Roodt’s Seun.
In Mignon Mossie Van Wyk, Reiners plays a young man whose heart is captured by a teenage girl (Tanika Fourie), whose sister (Fourie’s real-life sister Kiara), bears witness to the trials and tribulations of young love under the watchful eye of her father (great performance by Paul du Toit).
A note from screenwriter Tarren-Tanille Prinsloo
Every so often life deals you a heavy hand. If you look beyond the hurt, the tender memories and so called burnt fingers, you’d see, wrapped up in all that sentiment lays a story. A little gem waiting to be told.
Mossie was written with a very clear intention. It had to punch you in the gut leaving a lasting, haunting throb. I wanted to write a narrative that throws me and the audience head first into the deep end of a character’s world. As though we had just walked in on a long overdue conversation between two lost souls. Mossie’s world works on a tipping scale where a balance between events is rarely established.
A strong sense of dissociation is threaded throughout the film. Before our initial introduction to Mignon Mossie van Wyk as a character, it can be assumed that we are entering an already broken world where the pieces are barely held together. As a coping mechanism Mossie often unconsciously removes herself from situations before being catapulted back in to her reality.
Luna takes the audience’s hand as she treads through her sister’s past. Yet Luna is not written with the intention of being a tour guide. Luna casts a subjective eye on the world they experienced when they were all merely children. Due to Luna’s reflection, and Mossie’s dissociation Adriaan is then a composite of Mossie’s projected identity and Luna’s perception then and this present day. We never learn to know Adriaan as an entity on his own. Adriaan is subject to the changes that Mossie undergoes, as well as the parts that Luna selects to acknowledge about him. We only ever understand Adriaan from a biased point of view.
This film is a coming of age drama that reflects and interrogates the recognition of “life goes on”. This idea of the consciousness of life and its brevity is a recurrent through line.
A note from director Darrell James Roodt
Mignon Mossie Van Wyk afforded me an opportunity that I have been searching for, for a long time.
To make a film about young people with young people (not twenty somethings dressed up as teens, like they usually do!). I have always been fascinated by films like Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides and Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life and their poetic approach to the story.
With Mossie, I was able to do that. I could explore the story with a ‘poetic’ camera.
I didn’t merely want to capture people talking; I wanted the camerawork, the editing and the music to reflect their inner being. In other words, I wanted to transcend the mechanics of the story.
Fortunately the story had a lot of that resonance to start with and the actors I cast, Tanika and Deànré understood where I was going. They allowed us to capture some of their souls. I know that sounds lofty and more than a little pretentious, but I truly believe we have done this with Mossie-transcended.