Few accolades for Blade Runner film
THE STEENKAMPS hate it, the Pistorius’s hate it, and most South Africans appear to hate the yet-to-be released movie, Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer.
When US TV network Lifetime released the trailer of the upcoming movie, the Steenkamps in particular had to relive yet another ordeal. The Pistorius family have already said they aim to sue.
The trailer dominated social media this week with calls for the movie to be jailed too, like Oscar. The movie is based on the Paralympian’s girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp’s murder on February 14, 2013 and how Oscar killed her.
The minute-long trailer is tragic, it features an inaccurate casting of Andreas Damm, a New York-based actor, who fails to portray Oscar. The production company which pro- duced the film failed to consult the Steenkamps. Sidelining the family of the victim to impart experiences is seen as morally and ethically offensive. In a statement, the distributor of the Lifetime channel said: “It is anticipated that the movie will elicit mixed reactions in South Africa due to the sensitive nature of the high-profile court case which was widely followed.”
But it is not the first time Hollywood has blundered when looting South African stories.
Exhibit A: Aaliyah
In 2014, Lifetime was blasted over the Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B biographical film because the choice of actors was poor. Initial lead actress, Zendaya Coleman, dropped out after facing criticism that she “wasn’t black enough” to play Aaliyah, and she was replaced by Alexandra Shipp. Family of the pop star also sought legal action to prevent the film being made.
The damage had been done, #LifetimeBeLike sparked, and people set Twitter afire with satirical tweets of Lifetime’s lazy and sloppy approach to character casting.
Exhibit B: Winnie Mandela
Jennifer Hudson portrayed Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Nelson’s ex-wife in the controversial self- titled drama film adaptation of Anne Marie du Preez Bezrob’s biography Winnie Mandela in 2011. When the project was announced, lawyers for Madikizela-Mandela, threatened action against what they feared would be a “character assassination”. However, it wasn’t and got glowing reviews, but Madikizela-Mandela complained she was not consulted.
IN SPOTLIGHT: A movie has been made of Oscar Pistorius’s killing of Reeva Steenkamp.