Yesterday I went to watch myself (albeit very briefly) in one of the AFDA 3rd year director’s final exam movie. The Labia was a hive of students dressed as celebs, friends, family, young and old, and casts and crew. It was properly exciting.
We saw two movies, with my appearance as an Afrikaans mother in Our Land, director and writer Casey Milledge’s tribute to father son relationships in our torn and divided country.
Although I had great fun and was very impressed by the passion and professionalism of the team on the day we shot, I struggled to visualise the film, and I admit here, I was anxious about how it was going to turn out. I shouldn’t have worried.
What Casey and his creative and technical team have managed to produce is a beautiful looking, hard hitting, stereotype avoiding and deeply personal political film. Shot largely in hand held close-ups and brilliantly edited, the pace, passion and heart of the movie is distilled and made powerful. The choice to make a black and white film, mimicking historical news film of apartheid, was deliberate but not obvious, and the touches of red slashes, so unsettling in the black, grey, white were shocking: A symbol of (bloody) transformation we were told in the Q&A afterwards.
Student films suffer incredible challenges. Performers have to be begged. Resources are terribly limited. Students are over stretched and are often involved in more than one project at the same time. None of that shows in this film. I was seriously, unreservedly proud.