- Sean Else
- Jan du Plessis, Sean Else, Rudy Halgryn
- Stian Bam, Charlotte Salt, Grant Swanby, Bok van Blerk, Edwin van der Walt, Jacques Bessenger, Deon Lotz, Albert Pretorius, David Louw, Altus Theart, De Klerk Oelofse and Albert Maritz
- Ster Kinekor Entertainment
What It’s About
Set in 1901, this period epic follows Willem Morkel – a Boer and family man whose wife and son are murdered during the Anglo-Boer War. Captured as a prisoner of war, Willem must survive incarceration in the notorious St. Helena concentration camp and defeat the ruthless Colonel Swannell, at his own game… Rugby.
What I Thought
This movie screams Afrikaner patriotism from beginning to end and almost makes you forget that we like the British now. At least after watching this you’ll understand where the term ‘rooinek’ comes from.
Centred around several tragic characters in a concentration camp who eventually end up beating the big bad British at rugby, the film highlights the torture and conditions the prisoners of the Anglo-Boer war had to endure during their incarceration period which were truly horrific to say the least.
This is one serious film and it never lets you forget it for a moment even though the story is pretty much exactly the same as a similar movie by Adam Sandler also centred around prison and in its case, American football. You know, minus all the war, death and sadism and stuff…
In fact with a slight rework and the addition of Robbie Wessels in a pair of tights, this would have made a pretty good comedy but alas we’re left with the sombre taste of the poor Afrikaner who can’t seem to ever catch a break unless their diving face first into wars, fights or scrums that cause various bodily mutilations and fatal injuries.
Featuring the most Afrikaans person ever (aside from Steve Hofmeyr), Bok Van Blerk delivers what you’d expect and the only thing I can really say about this film is that it’s an interesting watch, the acting is good and both the story and setting seems authentic enough. Bok Van Blerk’s presence in the film surprises no one since he’s been aching to appear in a significant form on the silver screen as an ‘Afrikaner Hero’ for years ever since he started churning out ‘Boer War’ themed songs. In fact I think Bok Van Blerk might secretly be Afrikaans Batman but I’ve yet to get a response from him on this matter.
Overall this is a good film and you should probably give it a look if you’re into history, rugby or war movies.
In a nutshell – While watching this film you could almost ignore the fact that the same assholes on both sides in the movie ended up bringing about apartheid…but oh well.
DVD Special Features:
What Other People Thought
If you liked Verraaiers or the TV series Arende, you will like this. – Theresa Smith
Director Sean Else did a great job at steering clear of the clichés and the melodrama and instead served up a captivating film that’s undoubtedly worth the watch. – Herman Eloff
In this emotional journey into the heart and soul of a war that divided a nation, reconciled revenge forces underdogs to triumph in the spirit of togetherness. – Daniel Dercksen
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