March 1994 South Africa. On the day of the first free election Lambert Benade will turn 21, and Uncle Treppie promises him the girl of his dreams. But, in this hilariously horrendous tragi-comedy, as a new world is born, two members of the wild, crazy and destitute family are destined to die.
A Hillarious Horrendous Comedy by Michael Raeburn
based on the award-winning novel by Marlene van Niekerk
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL RAEBURN
WRITERS: MICHAEL RAEBURN/ MALCOLM KOHLL
PRODUCERS: MICHAEL RAEBURN & LYNDON PLANT
FRENCH PRODUCER: CAROLINE CHOMIENNE
GIRAFFE CREATIONS - South Africa
G. H. FILMS - France
In association with
RED PILL PRODUCTIONS (South Africa) - Natalie Stange Ryan Fortune
SYCOMORE FILMS (France) Thomas Bertay, Fred Nicolas
Produced with the participation of FONDS SUD CINEMA/FONDS IMAGES AFRIQUE Ministère de la Culture et de la Commuication-CNC Ministère des Affaires Etrangères (France)
LIONEL NEWTON as Treppie
VANESSA COOKE as Mol
OBED BALOYI as Sonny
PAUL LUCKHOFF as Pop
EDUAN VAN JAARSVELDT as Lambert
PAM ANDREWS as Cleo
MUSIC COMPOSER: PHILIP MILLER
CASTING DIRECTOR: MOONEYEEN LEE
Based on the novel by Marlene Van Niekerk (Noma Prize for African Literature).
1994 - in five days the first South African democratic elections will take place. Tensions are high throughout the land, and no less so in Triomf, the poor white suburb of Johannesburg that was built on the ruins of the mixed-race community of Sophiatown.
The Benade family, who'd be considered hillbillies in the USA (Uncle Treppie fixes fridges, Pop's a railway pensioner, and his wife Mol used to sell flowers in the street, and their son, Lambert, is a slow-witted youth prone to violent fits) are so worried about the elections that they're prepared for an escape north'when the shit hits the fan!' Already things are not what they used to be in Triomf with'coloured' neighbours having rowdy barbecues, and there's a black family moving in across the street.
The action of the film revolves around the dynamics within the Benade family. These are highly-strung, often horrendous and consistently hilarious. Key events include : Pop's successful gambling escapade in the big city which ends in a celebration dinner at a fast-food restaurant ; the acquisition by Lambert of a revolver at a city rubbish dump where his African friend Sonny actually lives ; the family's accidental involvement in a Peace March which they initially misconceive to be the start of the revolution ; and an operatic fight with their neighbours about noise on a Saturday night.
The interaction between Treppie and Lambert is the driving force behind the story. Treppie's not just fed up with Lambert, but with the family's poverty, their suffocating social isolation, and everything they stand for including their own history as Afrikaners which he sees as clouded by distortions, lies and pretence. Treppie doesn't really know what the solution to all this is, but the new South Africa is on its way, and he wants change.
Co-incidence would have it that Lambert's 21st birthday is on the first day of polling, and Uncle Treppie plans a special present for him : a meeting with a girl he's met who is kind and understanding and who might find a soft spot for him. What Treppie really wants is to get Lambert out of the house and out of his life at any price.
The climax is truly explosive after Lambert discovers that his prospective girlfriend is a whore, and after Treppie, in his mad desperation, reveals a dark'family secret' that explains why the young man is such a genetic'monster'. But in the end it will be Lambert and his friend Sonny who triumph over Treppie.
Cuenta atrás para las primeras elecciones democráticas en Sudáfrica. La tensión es más intensa en un barrio donde vive una alocada y desenfrenada familia blanca, pobre y marginada, que quieres huir. Una ácida y desconcertante alegoría sobre el final de apartheid y el comienzo de otro mundo.