During a downpour, a generous ronin and his supporting wife are stranded at a country inn. The ronin comes to the attention of a lord who wants to hire him as an instructor for his men, who treat the ronin with disrespect.
A father disowns his daughter, Annie, because of her choice to marry a neighboring woodsman. The marriage is strong and bears four children, but Annie is determined to also include her father in her family.
Great acting... but the shoestring budget really shows
This film was based on the director's own play 'Soweto's Burning'. It's a powerful story of testing the bounds of apartheid through friendship, love and hate.
Paul Bettany plays Steph, the reluctant Afrikaan soldier who's pushed to his limits by the events that unfold. Louise Lombard is Emma, Steph's girlfriend, and friend to Joseph, the black man played by Ariyon Bakare.
The story is engaging, and the performances by the 3 leads are brilliant. Particularly Bettany, who manages to pull off this complex character without any difficulty.
With better direction and cinematography this film would have been really great, but instead, the excellent plot is tied down by the TV-series-like style. The entire movie was filmed in just a few locations, and gives the impression of being too closely adapted from the play on a shoestring budget. The essence of Africa which is so important to this story was slightly lost through all this.
Overall, a good drama, and surely one of it's kind. Great dialogue, a powerful story and engaging performances from the actors.
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