4.7/10
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6 user 3 critic

The Story of an African Farm (2004)

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bonaparte Blenkins
...
Otto
...
Tant Sannie
...
Lyndall
Luke Gallant ...
Waldo
Anneke Weidemann ...
Em
Elriza Swanepoel ...
Trana
Nichol Petersen ...
Tant Sannie's Maid
Abbe-Gail Hartogh ...
Maid 2
Linda Louw ...
Maid 3
Chris-Jan Steenkamp ...
Sheep Shearer
Ibrahim Adams ...
Blacksmith
Clive Smith ...
Labourer1
Jan Bobbejee ...
Farm Labourer 2
Willem Saulse ...
Farm Labourer 2
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Storyline

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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Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and brief mild language
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

8 October 2004 (South Africa)  »

Also Known As:

Bustin' Bonaparte: The Story of an African Farm  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Disappointing
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.


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