Movie Title: The Recce
South Africa, 2018, Afrikaans and English with English subtitles
Set during the days of Apartheid’s border wars, The Recce tells the story of young recruit Henk Viljoen who is wrongfully declared dead behind enemy lines by the South African Defense Force. With the enemy hot on his trail and a lethal gunshot wound in his gut, he needs to use every skill and tool in his arsenal to make it back to his grieving wife. But Henk’s chances for survival are looking slim as he navigates the treacherous landscape of the Angolan warzone.Chronicling a race for survival in which human mental and physical abilities are pushed to their limits, the film tells a dramatic story of great sorrow in a time of war but also explores issues of faith, family and the fundamental good in people. A timely and crucial story, the beautifully made work pulls no punches and is remarkably free of political bias. With DIFF regular Greg Kriek playing the lead, this is an ode to the relentless desire of the human spirit to survive regardless of what gets thrown our way.
Movie Title: The Colour of Wine
South Africa, 2017, English with English subtitles, 70 min
The Colour of Wine tells the story of South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy through the journey of four black winemakers. Woven through their stories is a cast of colourful characters: winemakers and producers, historians, politicians and converted and still-to-be converted drinkers and tasters, all of whom offer insights into an extraordinary time, casting new light on the birth of democracy in South Africa and the challenges of change.The film also chronicles the history of wine in the country, which begins with the first white settlers in 1659. But there are two very different views of that history – the first tells of a patchwork of exquisite wine farms and pristine vineyards stretching across the southern slopes of Table Mountain, while the other is the narrative of an industry built on the backs of slaves, restricted and constrained by apartheid regulation, and dominated by a wealthy white minority. The film explores how much has changed in the industry since the dawn of democracy and whether these two narratives can ever be resolved into a single harmonious story. Shot in the vineyards and wine cellars of Stellenbosch, Soweto and New York, the film is also a celebration of wine itself.
Movie Title: FAREWELL ELLA BELLA
South Africa, 2017, English, Xhosa, Afrikaans and Tswana with English subtitles.
For 24-year-old Ella, the death of her alcoholic father saddles her with nothing but debt and the bitter memories of a complicated past. Abandoned by her mother at a young age, she has sacrificed everything to care for a man she resents. But at her father’s cremation, Ella reconnects with her freewheeling musician godfather, Neo, who gives her a glimpse of something beyond the suffocating life she has led in the small town of Beaufort West. Ella decides that she will bury her father’s ashes at her childhood home in Johannesburg and that Neo will be responsible for taking her there. And so the two set out across the Karoo in Neo’s beloved old BMW, meeting various characters along the way who give the two protagonists insight into themselves and each other. As the landscape changes, so their relationship deepens and they come to realise how much they need each other and how imperative it is that they exorcise the ghosts of their past. The result is a captivating coming-of-age tale for both Ella and Neo as they follow the long, open freeways across the country, and find maturity within themselves.