In 1976, Jack Unterweger was convicted for the murder of Margaret Schaefer and sentenced to life in prison. While imprisoned, he committed himself to reading and writing, eventually earning... See full summary »
At a wake one night in 1945, a group of aged women recall the life of one of their number. Sixty years before, Thérèse was barely 20 years old when she eloped with her boyfriend, Firmin, a ... See full summary »
Four backpackers arrive in Thailand to party and drink. A gambling game goes wrong and with their lives on the line they desperately decide to kidnap a billionaires daughter. Things go ... See full summary »
Daniel Patrick O'Neill,
Gwion Jacob Miles
In a small isolated village, in 1953, a wedding is interrupted by the news about the death of Stalin. Because any public celebration is forbidden, they decide to turn the happy event into a silent wedding.
Meda Andreea Victor,
In the winter of 1946, in Leningrad, a group of German prisoners of war are sent to a female transit camp by the cruel Russian Commander Pavlov. When they arrive, the Russian female ... See full summary »
Nathan, a brilliant New York lawyer who leads a life of professional success, but his private life is pretty dismal since he divorced Claire, his only love. Until he meets Doctor Kay, a ... See full summary »
Cape Town professor David Lurie blatantly refuses to defend himself for an affair with a colored student whom he gave a passing grade for an exam she didn't even attend. Dismissed, he moves to his daughter Lucy's farm, which she runs under most disadvantaged terms, favoring the black locals. Yet rowdies, unprovoked, violently rob and abuse them both. Lucy refuses to fight back, unlike David, who is surprised by his own altruistic potential. Written by
The story line is that: the father has sexual proclivity for colored young women, and abuses his power to get what he wants; the daughter (who, of course, is white) who lives a secluded life in a sea of blacks, chooses to endure and submit to the humiliation of being raped, robbed, and taken advantage of by her black neighbours, so that she can continue with her way of life in the country; the father, gaining insight into his own past abuse of power through the blacks' abuse of power upon his own daughter, finally repents and becomes genuinely remorseful for his own abuse of power (over young black women). In other words, he has finally realized how "disgraceful" his past conduct used to be.
So, it is an allegory of the nation of South Africa itself: father is the old Apartheid-South Africa, abusing, humiliating and taking advantage of black people; daughter is the whites in the 'new' South Africa with blacks in power, abusing, humiliating and taking advantage of the cowered whites in their turn. Just as the old whites robbed the blacks of their land, made them beg for their mercy, the daughter is now being robbed of her land by Petrus and depends on him to keep the black boys away from her. Now the table has turned. Just as Lucy has voluntarily become Petrus' tenant on her own land, South African whites, by handing the power over to the blacks, become blacks' tenants in their own land. Simbolically, across Lucy's house Petrus has built a brand new house, as if telling Lucy that this land is now my land.
The thing is, the movie is improbable and rather far-fetched in one crucial aspect: why the victims are going to so many lengths to submit to the abusers (in both father's and daughter's cases) to such extreme degree. Did the college girl not have the option of reporting the professor's conduct to the disciplinary board? Did she not have the free will to refuse the invitations and wining and dining? Did the professor force himself upon her? Now let's turn to the daughter: She knows that Petrus had masterminded the robbing and rape in order to drive her out of the farm: Yet she still makes a deal with him on such humiliating terms for his "protection" The victim of rape is seeking protection from further rape by making a humiliating deal with the rapist. Is she an incurable masochist? Or is there some compelling reason that she will not or cannot leave the farm? The movie never tells. Perhaps the movie is attempting to allegorize and translate into personal dimension the change that has happened in the relationship between the whites and blacks in South Africa in general. But the story as told in the format of movie simply fails to convey the subtle nuances in the novel, and would only look improbable and far-fetched to whoever sees the movie without first reading the novel.
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