A family's life in the Karoo (a semi-desert area in South Africa) is changed when a travelling circus leaves behind a clown.

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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Hendrik MacDonald
Aletta Bezuidenhout ...
Katrina MacDonald
Ian Roberts ...
Frans
Ellis Pearson ...
Manuel
Jan Ellis ...
Nollie
Liezel van der Merwe ...
Emma MacDonald
Larry Leyden ...
Willem MacDonald
Marthinus Basson ...
Dominee
...
Jan Mol
Regardt van den Bergh ...
Bothma
Ernst Eloff ...
Doctor
Paul Eilers ...
Sergeant
André Rossouw ...
Sakkie
Marko van der Colff ...
Thys
Hennie Oosthuizen ...
Pieta
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Storyline

A family's life in the Karoo (a semi-desert area in South Africa) is changed when a travelling circus leaves behind a clown.

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Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

23 January 1998 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

El secreto de la magia  »

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Trivia

South Africa's official entry to the Oscars, in the category of Best Foreign Language Film - a first for a South African feature film. See more »

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User Reviews

Film magic from South Africa
31 August 2004 | by (Cape Town, South Africa) – See all my reviews

The greatest feature to emerge thus far from South Africa (since 1994) is Katinka Heyns's Paljas. The narrative occurs in the 1960s, when poverty amongst Afrikaners was a serious problem and the South African Railway a key mechanism in Afrikaner affirmative action. This excellent Afrikaans language drama follows the deterioration of an Afrikaner family isolated and shunned in the small community of Toorwater. Nothing seems to happen. Then a circus train loses its way and comes to rest in Toorwater, and a mysterious clown brings fresh magic to the stagnating family, but he also poses a threat to the rest of the community. Heyns brilliantly succeeds in creating a metaphor for the Afrikaner family's turbulent emotional, cultural and ideological journey from the darkness of apartheid back into the light of post-apartheid reconciliation (famililial, cultural and political).


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