SKOONHEID tells the story of Francois van Heerden a mid-forties, white, Afrikaans-speaking family man living in Bloemfontein, who has become devoid of any concern for his own happiness. He is totally unprepared for a chance encounter that unravels his well-controlled life.
France, South Africa 2011, English and Afrikaans with English subtitles, 35 mm, 99 min
Director: Oliver Hermanus Screenplay: Oliver Hermanus Cinematographer: Jamie Ramsay Cast: Deon Lotz, Charlie Keegan, Michelle Scott Print Source: Swift Distribution
SKOONHEID is the second outing from young South African writer-director Oliver Hermanus, whose dazzling first feature SHIRLEY ADAMS was one of the highlights of DIFF 2009 and firmly established Hermanus as a promising talent in world cinema. SKOONHEID tells the sensitively rendered story of a closeted married man named Francois (Deon Lotz) who finds himself deeply attracted to the beautiful adult son (Charlie Keegan) of old family friends. While Francois has managed to keep his sexuality secret thus far in his life, the young man stirs something in him that threatens to unravel his carefully constructed world. Francois begins to stalk the young man, and the scene is set for a gripping and devastating climax. This beautifully-controlled film won the Queer Palm award at Cannes this year for the best fi lm dealing with gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender issues.
DIFF 2011, Durban (Catalog)
2011, 32ème DIFF Durban * Best South African Feature Film: "The film is meticulously made, and tells a complex South African story with universal appeal. The film's subtlety, control and knowledge of film history reveal a director on a remarkable trajectory." * Special Mention Feature Film: "…for the courage to explore this taboo subject matter in Africa today through this powerful film. Filmmaker in attendance
Summary for official catalogues
François mène une vie bien rangée à Bloemfontein, en Afrique du Sud. Père de deux enfants et mari dévoué, il est pris de court quand une rencontre fortuite bouleverse son existence propre et parfaitement ordonnée.