MIND: Jarrid Geduldt as Abie
MIND: Jarrid Geduldt as Abie
Jill Levenberg as Ellen Pakkies in 'Ellen, the Ellen Pakkies Story'. Picture: Screengrab
Jill Levenberg as Ellen Pakkies in 'Ellen, the Ellen Pakkies Story'. Picture: Screengrab
Jill Levenberg on the set of the movie about Ellen Pakkies. Pictures: Supplied
Jill Levenberg on the set of the movie about Ellen Pakkies. Pictures: Supplied
Jill Levenberg (Ellen Pakkies) and Jarred Geduld (Abie Pakkies). 
Photographer - Tracey Adams/African News Agency
Jill Levenberg (Ellen Pakkies) and Jarred Geduld (Abie Pakkies). Photographer - Tracey Adams/African News Agency
Ellen Pakkies with actor Jill Levenberg on the set of the movie about Pakkies. Picture: Supplied
Ellen Pakkies with actor Jill Levenberg on the set of the movie about Pakkies. Picture: Supplied
The film Ellen, Die Storie van Ellen Pakkies tells the story of Pakkies’s troubled relationship with her 20-year-old drug addict son, Abie.

In 2007, his death caused a worldwide stir when it was revealed that his mother had murdered him.

It is the harrowing account of a woman put through the penal system, tried for murder and driven by an unflinching love for her son. It delves into the psyche of a family ravaged by drugs in one of the most dangerous communities in South Africa.

The movie was shot over five weeks in Lavender Hill last year and in the same house where Pakkies killed her son.

When actor Jill Levenberg heard that the story was going to be made into a film, she prayed for a role in it.

Auditions were held in 2015 and she didn’t get a role. Last year, when she learnt that the director of Noem My Skollie, Daryne Joshua, was going to direct the film, she wrote to him asking for a role.

“I asked him for an audition, even if I had to play a small part like the neighbour or the auntie, but I didn’t get any feedback. Then one day Daryne contacted me and told me he wanted me to play the lead role of Ellen. I was dumbstruck.

“I called auntie Ellen, I was anxious meeting her, but we connected on various levels. It was uncanny, I had to research her before we met and then found that her birthday falls on the same day as my maternal grandmother’s and her late son Abie’s birthday is the same day as my mom’s.

Our matriarchal lines matched,” said Levenberg.

“This is not about the fame for me, I want to tell Cape Town’s stories. The Cape Flats is screaming, this happened in 2007, we shot this movie during the 10th year anniversary of Abie’s death and nothing has changed.

“A decade on and another parent killed his son for the same reason. When are our leaders going to listen and realise that our Cape Flats forms part of Cape Town? It is a war zone out there, but they don’t pay attention. I would like people to educate themselves about how the movie industry in South Africa works.

“So think again when you’re buying pirate DVDs. You are not just affecting the actors, but all the other people working on the movie,” said Levenberg.

The movie hits the big screen on September 7.