When the Free State wasn’t free

CityPress - - The Good Guide -

Di­rec­tor: Salmon de Jager Star­ring: Ni­cola Breyten­bach, An­drew Goven­der Free State, re­la­tion­ship dur­ing apartheid. Su­per­mod­el­turned-ac­tress Ni­cola Breyten­bach (who is set to star in Hol­ly­wood film The Blue Mau­ri­tius with Pearl Thusi later this year) is a small-town Afrikaans girl who falls in love with the charm­ing Ravi (An­drew Goven­der) and must face not only the trep­i­da­tion of her rev­erend fa­ther Gideon (Deon Lotz) but per­se­cu­tion un­der the racist law of the time. Though the cine­matog­ra­phy is glo­ri­ous, with sweep­ing shots of the panoramic town of Memel, it’s all un­done by un­con­vinc­ing act­ing by Goven­der and other sec­ondary char­ac­ters. Even the ster­ling Lotz, whose role as a re­pressed gay Afrikaner in Skoon­heid was one of the most spine-tin­gling per­for­mances I’ve seen, couldn’t make me care about the story line. How­ever, Breyten­bach and Goven­der do make one of the best-look­ing on-screen duos I’ve seen in a while. I hate bash­ing lo­cal films, but there are much bet­ter South African movies on of­fer. – Grethe Koen

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