ALTER EGO: Ellen Pakkies with Jill Levenberg, who plays her in the biopic ‘Ellen: The Ellen Pakkies Story’. Levenberg says there are many women like Pakkies, who face abuse daily. Picture: Supplied
Cape Town - With the new Ellen Pakkies movie to be released soon, the actress Jill Levenberg spoke out about the plight so many women on the Cape Flats have to endure on a daily basis.

Levenberg said the film made her realise that there are so many more women like Ellen, who experience abuse and violence by their own children. The film is about a family destroyed by drugs in Lavender Hill.

In 2007 Ellen Pakkies strangled her son Abie, 20, to death after he abused her for many years. She was arrested and received a three-year suspended sentence and had to do community work.

Levenberg said the film made Pakkies emotional, “but she hopes that it will make a difference in communities which are plagued by substance abuse and crime. The movie is called The Ellen Pakkies Story.

Levenberg, who also grew up in Kensington, said the film was a huge honour for her. The movie was also shot in Lavender Hill where the incident happened. “And it made everything so real. Ellen also took me around Lavender Hill, as well as the church where Abie was buried, and it was during this time that she would get emotional and cry.

“She also encouraged me a lot and told me that I should not be scared to play the role. We both have a love for God and a huge heart for our communities,” she said.

Levenberg also said the film comes at a time when substance abuse, especially among young people, on the Cape Flats is escalating.

“There are so many moms such as Ellen Pakkies and parents who have to deal every day with children who use drugs. Just recently we also saw a father of Mitchells Plain who also killed his drug addict son in self-defence. The Cape Flats has become a neglected spot,” Levenberg said.

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Cape Argus