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The Story of an African Farm (2004)

PG  |   |  Drama, Family  |  8 October 2004 (South Africa)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 173 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 6 user | 3 critic | 4 from

The 1870's. South Africa. Life is normal at the farm on the slopes of a Karoo Kopje. Fat Tant Sannie (Karin van der Laag) looks after her charges... See full synopsis »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bonaparte Blenkins
Karin van der Laag ...
Tant Sannie
Luke Gallant ...
Anneke Weidemann ...
Elriza Swanepoel ...
Nichol Petersen ...
Tant Sannie's Maid
Abbe-Gail Hartogh ...
Maid 2
Linda Louw ...
Maid 3
Chris-Jan Steenkamp ...
Sheep Shearer
Ibrahim Adams ...
Clive Smith ...
Jan Bobbejee ...
Farm Labourer 2
Willem Saulse ...
Farm Labourer 2


The 1870's. South Africa. Life is normal at the farm on the slopes of a Karoo Kopje. Fat Tant Sannie (Karin van der Laag) looks after her charges... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and brief mild language





Release Date:

8 October 2004 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Bustin' Bonaparte: The Story of an African Farm  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

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User Reviews

20 May 2007 | by (Sunny Florida) – See all my reviews

I'll be the first to admit that turning Olive Schreiner's monumental work into a movie is a daunting task. The book is deeply layered - many of the vignettes are out of sequence or devoid of context. And, probably the most difficult part - much of the story involves the psychological and spiritual development of the children (particularly Waldo and Lyndall).

That being said, it's hard to understand why the producers chose to focus on Bonaparte. In the novel itself he is a throw-away character, a caricature if you will. He serves little purpose other than a foil against which the children's formative years are thrown in sharp relief. To make matters worse, the movie ends with Bonaparte's ignominious expulsion from the farm - however, it is precisely here that the book takes it's most powerful and controversial path - following the lives of Waldo and Lyndall as they grow to adulthood.

The many themes of the book are only hinted at - Waldo's journey from Christian fanaticism to eventual atheism; Lyndall's desperate (and ultimately futile) attempt to overcome the shackles of female oppression, her desire to find someone who is worthy of her love, and to be loved in return.

None of these complex themes are addressed - perhaps they never can be. I must say that Kasha Kropinski presents an outstanding performance - she is exactly as I pictured Lyndall would be. Kudos also to Luke Gallant and Armin Mueller-Stahl for great performances.

Perhaps someday someone will undertake the herculean task of translating Schreiner's work to film. Sadly, this movie is not it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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