Shirley Adams

  • Shirley Adams
Genre : Drama
Type : Fiction
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2009
Format : Feature
Running time : 92 (in minutes)

Shirley is a Cape Town resident whose teenaged son, Donovan, was hit by a stray bullet in a gang shootout that left him paralysed from the waist down. Already struggling to survive in the tough Cape Flats district, she fi nds the added challenge of Donovan's new disability almost more than she can take. It doesn't help that her husband walked out the door, unable to cope, or that hospital authorities suspect she's not up to the task of caring for her son. They're not entirely wrong. Donovan's constant need for attention leaves Shirley in a state of perpetual exhaustion. With her husband's income gone, she finds herself shoplifting. Things becomes further complicated when the hospital steps in and assigns Tamsin, a young white woman, to assist with Donovan's care. Shirley can use the help but begins to feel threatened by a rival for her son's affections.

This debut feature from local director Oliver Hermanus is a study in quiet desperation which takes place in the heart of Mitchell's Plein. The film tells the story of Shirley Adams, whose husband has abandoned her and whose only son is rendered partially paralysed after being shot in the neck on his way home from school one day. Adams spends the days of her frugal existence looking after her son, awash in a broken solace that is occasionally interrupted by visits from friends as well as a young middle-class occupational therapist.
The life of Shirley Adams is a tortured one but the gentleness of Hermanus' film provides an acknowledgement of her humanity, which in turns offers notes of genuine redemption. This is a harrowing fi lm but it is also a deeply beautiful one. Without ever resorting to melodrama, the 25-year-old Hermanus has created a quiet, low-key masterpiece that singles him out as one of South Africa's most gifted young directors. Shirley Adams would sit comfortably in the company of work by Mike Leigh, the Dardennes or Ken Loach.

South Africa 2009, English and Afrikaans with English subtitles, 92 min / HD

Director: Oliver Hermanus
SCREENPLAY: Oliver Hermanus and Stavros Pamballis
DOP: Jamie Ramsay
EDITOR: Garreth Fradgley
MUSIC: Philip Miller
CAST: Denise Newman, Keenan Arrison and Emily Childs
PRODUCERS: Jeremy Nathan and Michelle Wheatley

Print Source: DV8 Films


Niezwykle intymny portret południowoafrykańskiej kobiety, tytułowej Shirley Adams, mieszkającej na biednych przedmieściach Kapsztadu. Jej nastoletni syn, Donovan, w wyniku strzelaniny między lokalnymi gangami zostaje sparaliżowany. Mąż, po kilku miesiącach od wypadku, odchodzi bez pożegnania nie pozostawiając środków do życia. Na Shirley spadają wszelkie obowiązki domowe i pielęgnacyjne oraz konieczność zdobywania pieniędzy na życie. Pomimo wszystko stara się podołać życiu i stworzyć Donavanowi jak najlepsze warunki do nowego życia.

Film stanowi wnikliwe studium psychologiczne dwójki bliskich sobie ludzi, którym życie i los wydają się nie sprzyjać. Obraz w większości nakręcony zbliżeniami i czasem można odnieść wrażenie "podglądania" życia domowego bohaterów.

Tytuł polski: Shirley Adams
Tytuł oryginalny: Shirley Adams
Reżyseria: Oliver Hermanus
Scenariusz: Oliver Hermanus, Stavros Pambalis
Zdjęcia: Jamie Ramsay
Muzyka: Phillip Miller
Obsada: Denise Newman, Keenan Arrison, Emily Child, Adrian Galley
Język: angielski/afrikaans
Czas trwania: 92 min.
Kraj produkcji: RPA/USA/Anglia
Rok produkcji: 2009

Nagrody i nominacje:
2009 MFF Durban - Najlepszy film, najlepszy debiut, najlepsza aktorka
Oficjalna selekcja: MFF Toronto 2009; MFF Locarno 2009



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Shirley Adams

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Shirley Adams



  • Arterial network
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  • Gens de la Caraïbe
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  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
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  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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