An interracial gay love story set in early 18th century South Africa about two men -- a black prisoner living in a Cape Town penal colony and a Dutch sailor -- who weather injustices as a result of their affair.
A recreation of the decade-long love affair in the 18th century in a Cape Town penal colony on Robben Island. The two lovers were a Dutch sailor imprisoned there for sodomy and a young Khoi herder. The Khoi were part of the Hottentot tribal group and as such were the untouchables of that time. The two were placed on trial and this love affair and the legal battles are the grist of Greyson and Lewis' film based partly on court transcripts from the time. In South Africa, during the 1700s, sodomy was a crime deemed worse than murder, and the fact that these two young men had indulged in it was also complicated by the fact that this was an interracial love affair. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
This "art house" film, based on factual documents, depicts real events which are informative and provide a historical context for some of today's social attitudes.
Although the recorded events took place in the mid-18th century, the director has peopled his set with deliberate contemporary anachronisms. This is apparently to tie together time periods, showing significant similarities.
The film itself seems to have a divided audience, from those who love it to those whose reactions are the opposite. While the events covered are pretty grim and unpleasant, the production is well shot and the quality of the actors is uniformly strong.
In my opinion, though, here's a film that will probably have a limited general, together with an appreciative special, audience. It is commendable that the South African government has opened its political policy for more inclusiveness in artistic subject matter. Well produced by a Canadian company.
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