On Sunday 28th at 4pm we have the film NOEM MY SKOLLIE (2h20mins)In Afrikaans with English subtitles.
When young Abraham gets arrested for a petty crime he raises his status in prison by captivating the hardened gangsters with his knack for telling stories. He becomes the "prison cinema" whilst his childhood friend becomes the concubine of a gang boss. On their release from jail 'AB' finds romance with his childhood sweetheart and starts a new path in life as a writer but his friends rope him into a murder for which they all face the hang-man's noose. Set in Cape Town, South Africa in the 1960s. The film is based on the life story of the scriptwriter Mr. John W. Fredericks.
The theme of the film is “You can’t judge a book by its cover” and hence the ironic title, “Noem My Skollie” – (“Call me thief”) since even the thief who becomes a storyteller and eventually a creative writer is still labelled a thief. Noem My Skollie is not a ‘gang’ movie but is rather a coming of age tale about a gifted storyteller.
Independent producers David Max Brown and Moshidi Motshegwa produced the film with finance from Mnet, the NFVF, and the DTI. David is an accomplished producer but this is his first feature film. Moshidi is an accomplished actress best known in South Africa for her role as Naomi in Rhythm City and internationally as the Slave Queen on Black Sails, this film marks her first time to venture into producing. The film’s director, Daryne Joshua, who makes his directorial debut, describes the film best…
“The most beautiful thing about this film for me is the fact that its protagonist, Abraham Lonzi, continuously uses storytelling as a way to escape the perils of his grim situation. Storytelling literally saves his life. How can that not resonate with any filmmaker? But for me it’s more than that. It resonates with me personally because its that same craft that paved my escape from the mostly harsh environment that is the Cape Flats. So, the story of these boys – “The Young Ones” (Abraham and his gang) – is also partly mine, and that of all my friends and family who experienced with me those mean streets… but above all, this bittersweet portrait of a gangster must leave the audience with hope. Because that’s what it is based on – the true story of John W. Fredericks. A man, who was a product of his environment and made a few bad decisions, then suffered, but in the end survived to beat the odds – an example of what’s possible, a beacon of hope.”
When AB (Dann-Jaques Mouton) is released from prison he picks up on the relationship with his beautiful childhood sweetheart, Jenny (Tarryn Wyngaard) and so tries to focus on writing his stories to impress her, but his gang friends persuade him to join them one last time, a decision that leads to shocking consequences for all of them.
And in the words of the writer:
“In our township there were no heroes. Our idols were old street fighters, who settled their scores in bloody bare-fisted brawls on the streets of the town.
We felt privileged when these old gangsters sent us to a drug dealer to buy their marijuana. It meant that we could hang around them to listen to their stories of gangsters and prison life. Many aspired to become like them. Some succeeded to rise above these childhood fantasies. For others it became their destiny. Short lived and violent. Leaving behind a legacy of heartache and shattered dreams. The world of gangsters became our rites of passage. I found a way out of all this as a writer and storyteller but dogged by my criminal record nobody took me seriously. I was nobody in a society that seldom or never forgives.”
This film will resonate with all South African audiences but particularly those who are able to confront the violent reality of the world of the story and are willing to celebrate the triumph of the human spirit.’’ The writing studio.
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