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Invictus [ 2009 ] [ Hits:11596 ]
Review: Invictus is a film that attempts to capture the Zeitgeist of the New South Africa in its infancy. It's based on the book, Playing the Enemy by John Carlin and stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, with Clint Eastwood behind the camera. Eastwood has delivered some beauties in his time... from tough guy spaghetti Western performances to directing stirring war epics like Letters from Iwo Jima to movies about an exciting time in South African history. Having work...

A Million Colours [ Hits:12171 ]
Review: A Million Colours is based on the true story of two best friends, who fought the system that tried to separate them, after they shot to fame in 1975 with the release of the South African film e'Lollipop. Muntu Ndebele and Norman Knox didn't see life in black or white, at a time when the government tried to enforce Apartheid, instead they chose to see a million colours. Andre Pieterse produced e'Lollipop and co-wrote A Million Colours with Canadian director, Peter Bishai. A Million Colours is th...

Themba: A Boy Called Hope [ 2010 ] [ Hits:12776 ]
Review: Themba: A Boy Called Hope is an inspirational coming-of-age drama about a young South African boy's escape from poverty and the pursuit of a dream. The film couldn't have come at a better time, releasing in the aftermath of the hugely successful 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. However, this isn't any ordinary South African film and if you're expecting Hollywood formula in this sports drama, you'll be disappointed. While football forms the backdrop to this emotional journey, it's simply a th...

Verraaiers (Traitors) [ Hits:12515 ]
Review: Verraaiers (Traitors) is the latest drama from director-writer team, Paul Eilers and Salmon de Jager, who previously collaborated on Roepman (Stargazer). These film-makers are quickly developing a reputation for producing quality films, characterised by strong performances, beautiful cinematography and compelling narratives, and Verraaiers continues this trajectory. Verraaiers is the story of several men, who decide to protect their families and run the risk of being branded 'cowards' in favour...

The Bang Bang Club [ Hits:10043 ]
Review: The Bang Bang Club is the story of four conflict photographers, Greg Marinovich, Kevin Carter, Ken Oosterbroek and João Silva, in the build-up to South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994. These high profile photographers were like soldiers, their weapons - cameras and their ammo - extra spools. As South African photo journalists, they were on the forefront of a civil war, one being fought in areas known as "dead zones" between two warring political parties. Fearless sometimes foolish, ...

Die Wonderwerker [ Hits:15086 ]
Review: Katinka Heyns is the director behind South African classics such as Paljas and Fiela se Kind. It's been more than a decade since her last film, making Die Wonderwerker, a much anticipated follow-up for the acclaimed director. She marks her return with a biographical mystery drama based on a chapter from the life of famous Afrikaner laywer, poet and naturalist, Eugene Marais.The man's output may not have been extensive, but he's still revered for his poems and studies on nature. Die Wonderwerker ...

Material [ Hits:14629 ]
Review: Material is one of the smartest, most heartwarming movies to originate from South Africa, telling the story of a young Muslim man whose love for stand-up comedy leads to conflict when his father expects him to take over the family business. There's always a hint of seriousness in a joke and as John Cleese once noted - "comedy is very much like tragedy". Material is a comedy drama, what's come to be known as a "dramedy", creating an uneasy balance between domestic strife and life's funnier mome...

Life, Above All [ Hits:9993 ]
Review: Life, Above All is a universal story about the intricate relationship between mother and daughter. Set in modern day South Africa, Oliver Schmitz has composed a drama that is emotionally taut, compelling for its heartfelt performances, important for its social commentary and beautiful for its cinematography. At the crux of Life, Above All is Chanda, our young protagonist, played by Khomotso Manyaka. The film depends on Manyaka's performance and she persuades us to journey with her as we learn of...

The Social Network [ 2010 ] [ Hits:7921 ]
Review: The Social Network is a timely story about the founders of Facebook and their legal disputes on the back of unprecedented viral Internet growth and accidental billionaires. Whatever your take on the social online platform, The Social Network movie  seems to have everyone hitting 'Like'… If you’re connected to the Internet, chances are that you rely on Facebook as entertainment, a networking tool, a virtual grapevine or local news feed. The Social Network points out the social platform's add...

Little One [ 2013 ] [ Hits:2697 ]
Review: Little One is the story of a mother, who takes a young girl under her wing. The story is simple, yet the circumstances are not. A six year old girl has been left for dead in the veld near a middle aged woman's home near an informal settlement. After saving her life, an inextricable and life-changing mother-daughter bond is formed between the rescuer and victim.The story is truly heartbreaking and there's a tensile emotional undercurrent that drives this simple, yet beautiful film. The endless re...

The Song of Sparrows [ 2008 ] [ Hits:3343 ]
Review: The Song of Sparrows is yet another strikingly beautiful film from Iranian director, Majid Majidi. His fellow film-makers tend to portray the darker spectrum of Iran, while Majidi’s sweet, sentimental and deeply humanistic films find their way to international audiences. Majidi’s films are lyrical, poetic and convey simple realities with an unfettered sense of truth. Children of Heaven, The Colour of Paradise and The Willow Tree all echo the same sentiment of The Song of Sparrows, which was ...

Moonlight [ Hits:2808 ]
Review: Moonlight is a coming-of-age drama that chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he tries to cope against the flow of everyday adversities while growing up in a rough Miami neighbourhood. The film deals with a range of negative social themes such as: drugs, bullying and gangsterism. Ordinarily, these hard living themes would translate into a gritty and difficult-to-watch film, but this is the magic of Moonlight, turning the ugliness of real-life into a thing of lum...

Nocturnal Animals [ Hits:2751 ]
Review: Nocturnal Animals tells the story of a wealthy art gallery owner who is haunted by her ex-husband's novel. Juxtaposing the cold, artistic reality of a divorcee, now remarried and alienated, with the dusty, gritty world of a self-reflecting novel, we experience a dark, disconcerting and tense atmosphere. Tom Ford's A Single Man is a conventional drama by contrast... both films have style, both are enhanced by strong performances, except it seems as though Ford is taking a page from David Lynch. ...

Beyond the River [ Hits:2775 ]
Review: South Africa needs Beyond the River, an uplifting sports drama based on a true story. At this point in time, our country's politics is still divided along racial lines, or rather that's what some parties would have you believe. We've come a long way since our rainbow nation was inaugurated in 1994 under the guidance of Nelson Mandela, whose levelheaded leadership navigated us through what could have been a much more radical transition. While some of the injustice around the old South Africa stil...

Silence [ Hits:2684 ]
Review: Silence is the third overtly religious film from director Martin Scorsese, following The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun. It's a film that Scorsese has been trying to make for more than two decades, based on the novel by Shusaku Endo about two Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in order to find their mentor and continue his mission to propagate Catholicism in the 17th century. While the spiritual perspective may be met with some suspicion, the overriding themes are universal. It's the seco...

20th Century Women [ Hits:3694 ]
Review: 20th Century Women is the story of a teenage boy and the three women who help raise him, set in Southern California in 1979. The comedy drama comes to us from the mind of writer-director Mike Mills, best known for Beginners and Thumbsucker, and plays out like an adaptation of an essay on gender history. Together with a solid ensemble featuring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann and Billy Crudup, Mills is able to curate an offbeat, moody, nostalgic and thoughtful film....

Johnny is Nie Dood Nie [ Hits:2758 ]
Review: Johnny is Nie Dood Nie, adapted from a play by Malan Steyn, is a reunion drama in the tradition of The Big Chill as four friends gather for a braai on the Sunday after Johannes Kerkorrel's suicide to reminisce about their student days. Set in 2002, Johnny is Nie Dood Nie flips back-and-forth in time to the late '80s when they were young, rebellious Stellenbosch students during the time of the Voëlvry tour. Embracing the protest music of Kerkorrel, Koos Kombuis and Bernoldus Niemand, these hedon...

The Founder [ Hits:2674 ]
Review: The Founder is something of a biographical docudrama, telling the story of Ray Kroc, the man who founded McDonald's as we know it today. The golden arches have become embedded in popular culture as the McDonald's empire has supplanted itself in countries around the world. Adapting its menu to suit its market, the Big Mac giant has certainly drawn its fair share of lovers and enemies from health gurus to documentaries like Supersize Me. One thing's for sure, this brand is here to stay, making The...

Tess [ Hits:2905 ]
Review: Tess, is a film adaptation of Tracey Farren's novel, Whiplash, which follows the heartrending journey of a sex worker who falls pregnant, and the difficulties she encounters on the streets of Cape Town. Directed by Meg Rickards and starring Christia Visser, this important and hard-hitting drama is a passion project. Important, because it sheds light on long-standing social issues such as the abuse of women in a country deemed as one of the worst affected in the world. Hard-hitting, in the way t...

Collateral Beauty [ Hits:2686 ]
Review: Collateral Beauty had amazing potential. On paper, this film seemed destined to rank alongside the likes of Seven Pounds. Both films star Will Smith and you get the impression that director David Frankel was aiming to deliver something similar in terms of content and tone. While Will Smith certainly echoes this sentiment, he's not alone, playing a hollow lead to an ensemble of Hollywood heavyweights, including: Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris and Helen Mirren. "Hollow...

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